The holiday season is upon us which means one thing….Christmas parties & company potlucks. Although a little indulgence this time of year is warranted, too much can lead to that dreaded 5lb weight gain by January. How do you avoid it? Follow my 5 Simple Steps To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain!
1. Plan, Plan, Plan Ahead!
If you know you’re going to an evening Christmas Party, think about the rest of the meals in your day. Your meal will likely be high in carbohydrates and fat so you want to limit those in all other meals/snacks. Try to stick to vegetables, fruits & lean protein sources for breakfast and lunch. And, while it may be tempting to skip meals in the day to save up calories for your party this plan almost always backfires. If you head into a buffet or potluck starving you are going to overfill your plate and overeat. You will likely end up eating more calories than if you had eaten earlier in the day. So plan to a eat snack about an hour before attending a party, preferably something high fibre to keep you feeling full. This will help you limit temptations and choose smaller portion sizes.
2. Watch the Alcohol!
During the holiday season, the booze is usually flowing. You have cocktail hours, wine with dinner, eggnog with rum…
Calories from alcohol add up fast:
5 oz glass wine= 125 calories
12 oz beer = 150 calories
1 oz hard alcohol = 90 calories
1 cup eggnog with rum = 450 calories
Decide which drink is most important to you, if you love cocktail hour have one drink but skip the wine with dinner. Or, if you can’t have dinner without wine have a virgin drink at cocktail hour. Try something fun, like a virgin Caesar or a soda water with a splash or cranberry juice.
3. Skip the bun!
At almost every event there will be the inevitable bowl of buns. It’s usually placed at the very beginning so you grab one without even seeing what other choices are offered. Your meal is likely already filled with carbohydrates so another bun is unnecessary. Skipping the bun with butter can reduce your meal by about 200 calories – an easy fix.
4. Fill your plate with vegetables first.
Portion sizes are key to avoid overeating at holiday parties. By filling your plate with the vegetables and salads first, you will have less room for other items causing you to reduce portion sizes automatically. If you’re going to a potluck offer to bring the vegetable/salad option so you know a good option will be available.
5. Split Desserts
Don’t be afraid to be that person who cut the brownie in half. The problem with desserts is there is usually such a variety and we want to try some of them all. So try an assortment of desserts in SMALL portions. Cut items in half or thirds so you can sample without over stuffing yourself. Chances are the person behind you will gladly take that other half brownie.
Hope this helps you make it through the holiday season!
What are you tricks for not overeating at holiday parties? What’s your favourite special treat during the holidays?