Sticking to weight loss plans can be a challenge any time of the year but it can be especially difficult during the holiday season. Most people do gain a pound or two this time of year. While it may be enjoyable to indulge over the holidays, you’ll have to lose those pounds all over again in the new year.
According to researchers at the National Institutes of Health, many people in our country never lose the weight they gain during the holiday season.The pounds can add up year after year. This excess weight will not only make you uncomfortable, it can lead to serious health problems.
That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy any of your holiday favorites. Just don’t over do it. Moderation is key to successful weight loss plans. There are some things you can do to help keep you from overindulging.
Don’t Show Up Hungry
Whether you’re heading off to a family gathering or an office party, arriving hungry could spell disaster. In order to keep you from binging, eat a healthy snack and drink a large glass of water before you go and you will arrive feeling satisfied and in control. Weight loss plans can be much easier to stick to when you’re not starving.
It’s Not Just About The Food
While it does often end up being the main focus, there’s so much more to holiday gatherings than just food. Spend time catching up with family and friends. Good conversation can be as enjoyable and healthier than a second piece of pie. If you’re at a party with music, get up and dance. It will take your attention off the buffet table and burn off a calorie or two.
All weight loss plans can benefit from exercise. After a family dinner, why not have everyone put on the coats, hats, and mittens. Then take a walk around the neighborhood to look at the holiday lights and decorations.
Show the Buffet Who’s Boss
If there is a buffet table, approach it confident that you’re in control. Start by choosing the smallest plate available and limit it to a single layer of food. Fill it with healthy, calorie-conscious choices and just a few of your favorites. Fruits and vegetables are always great options and will help you feel full and satisfied.
Take it Slow
With so much food, sometimes people will eat fast so they get a chance to try everything. Others just normally eat quickly. Regardless of the reason, slow down. Experts say it can take up to 20 minutes before the stomach lets the brain know it’s full. If you eat too fast, you can consume too much food and way too many calories before you realize that you’re full.
In an effort to slow your eating, put your fork down between each bite. Then chew slowly, 10 to twenty times for each bite. Savor each bite and soon you’ll feel satisfied.
Restrict Alcohol Intake
Having a cocktail or a glass of wine at the holidays is almost a tradition. Weight loss plans are often derailed by drinking too much alcohol. Even though the alcohol might not make you feel full, you are still consuming calories. A mixed drink often has even more calories as it normally contains soda or juice.
On top of the additional calories, too much alcohol can seriously impact your control and you’ll end up overeating.
Keep Taste Testing to a Minimum
If you’re the one in the kitchen doing the holiday cooking and baking, of course, you’ll have to taste the food before you serve it. Unfortunately, it can be easy to lose track of all that taste testing and before you know it, you’ve consumed a quite a few calories and you haven’t eaten a meal yet.
You don’t need to taste the gravy every time you stir it or eat a cookie each time you take a new batch out of the oven. Only sample your cooking when necessary. Save the calories and your appetite for when you sit down to enjoy the meal with family and friends.
Medical Weight Loss Plans
Dr. Pinto of Vive Medical Weight Loss and Aesthetics recently talked with Jenny of Sirius XM’s Just Jenny about weight loss and obesity management challenges during the holidays.He offers information and expert advice on the topic.
No matter what time of year, these tips can be helpful if you’re just starting or are already following a weight loss program. If you’ve been struggling with your weight or it has begun to affect your health and you haven’t had any weight loss success on your own, it might be time to consult with your doctor. Self-supervised weight loss plans don’t work for everyone. Your doctor can determine if a medical weight loss plan is right for you.
Long-term success will depend on permanent changes in your day to day life. The hardest part, however, is the first step. Getting started on your weight loss journey must begin somewhere. At Vive Medical Weight Loss and Aesthetics, that first step starts at your consultation. Dr. Pinto’s philosophy is to give you the jumpstart you need to achieve and then maintain a healthy weight. After all, isn’t that what you want? Why wait? Head into the holidays armed for success.