We’re referring of course, to holiday buffets, which are largely responsible for the inevitable weight gain that most of us experience by the end of the holiday season. In fact, we’ve come to the conclusion that this is why “layering” was invented – so we wouldn’t have to tuck anything in until around the middle of March……
But if, like us, you’re trying to maintain access to your skinny jeans after the first of the year, here are a few tips to keep your waistline in check:
- If you’re anticipating “stuffing your face” at a weekend party, try stuffing in your workouts during the week. Every step counts for burning those calories. You should aim for at least 10,000 steps (or about 5 miles) per day.
- After a “Big Meal” or similar high calorie event, plan to go for a walk or run – or engage in some other form of cardio. Build a snowman – or, better yet, start a snowball fight!
- Beware of the office munchies — the cookies, the cake and the candy. If you try one of each, you’ll have taken in an extra 350 calories.
- Beware of your kids’ holiday programs. Especially watch out for the punch. One cup is a whopping 82 calories! A handful of nuts – 166 calories. A half of a sugar cookie – 50 calories! Even plain old popcorn is 130 calories per half cup!
- Don’t go to parties on an empty stomach. Eat a little before you go so you’re not so tempted with the high calorie party goodies.
- Liquid calories DO count, and they can add up quickly. One cup of eggnog is 343 calories and 19 grams of fat – 11 grams of saturated fat!
- Be mindful of your alcohol consumption. Becoming tipsy stimulates your appetite and weakens your willpower. Try substituting lower calorie beverages – including water – for booze. And tune in later this month for some “Best Bets” for holiday drinking.
- Pace yourself – don’t race through your food. Remember, you can always go back for more. And keep in mind that anything you eat off your date’s plate counts as calories as well.
- Survey the spread before digging in. Strategize your “attack.”
- If you’re on the “holiday party trail,” attending two or three festivities in one evening, try indulging only in appetizers at the first event, a main course at the second event and desert at the last stop.
- Don’t socialize with the food. Mingle with the other guests.
- Fill up on fruits and veggies first, so you’re not tempted to overindulge in the less healthy choices. These foods are high in fiber and fill you up faster.
- If you’re involved in food preparation, look into ways you can substitute healthier ingredients without sacrificing taste. For example, substitute low-fat milk or cheese for whole milk or cheese.
- Quality Control is a nice way of saying “I’ll just take a little taste to see if it’s good.” Remember, broken cookies have the same number of calories as those intact. One single misshapen cookie counts for 156 calories. And for goodness sakes, don’t lick the spoon!
- Think about your eating and don’t consume unconsciously. Ask yourself, “Am I really hungry, or am I bored, anxious, or depressed?” Eat because you’re hungry.
- If you’re the host, give the leftovers away so you’re not tempted to indulge later.
So there you have it – a few easy tips to keep “losing weight” off your list of resolutions on New Year’s Day.