Tis’ the season to be jolly! It’s also the season to be entertaining, indulging, and maybe even overindulging in things we don’t normally seek out actively.
We basically spend a lot of the holiday’s going outside our comfort zone to ironically feel comforted. Why do we do this?
Well, we eat things that we wouldn’t normally eat, we don’t say no to a host, we may dress up (or dress down) even when we don’t want to because we have to go to that office party and we stop exercising/moving because we’d rather spend quality time with family and/or friends.
But you do realize that we don’t have to?
Or at least this is what we need to tell ourselves the next time we feel pressured and this especially holds true when talking about the extra pounds we put on during the holidays until January rolls around and you’re back to hitting the gym hard and getting back to your regular diet.
That’s why we’re all here today. Let’s learn a few tricks of the trade (from trainers to dietitians) on how to actually lose weight while we enjoy our holiday season to the max! And yes it’s completely possible to maintain if not lose weight while we get festive and celebrate the holidays!
PS: This post was written before Covid-19 so there are a few tips that might not be applicable at this time (ie. when it comes to get-togethers) but you can keep them in mind for next year!
1) Don’t save your calories for later
We’ve all been there. We don’t eat until we reach that holiday office party or the big dinner at mum’s house because we know that we’ll be overindulging there so why not save all the calories for later, right?
Well this is probably not the best idea. The fact is that you’ll end up eating wayyyy more this way (because you’ve literally starved yourself) than if you had stuck to your regular meals/snacks throughout the day anyway!
So don’t deprive yourself until that next big meal – eat what and when you want to and know that you’re doing yourself a disservice if you choose otherwise.
2) Make and/or bring healthy dishes!
A little planning goes a long way when it comes time to prepare for the holidays, and truer words were never spoken for controlling how much weight you pack on vs. how much you lose either.
Making a healthy dish and taking it with you to that special party or for that special occasion will save the hassle of longing after the food, that although may be available, is higher in calories and probably fat too.
Do yourself a favor and take some time to prepare something that is tasty and filling but low in calories (think high protein foods) and that way you won’t gain those extra pounds.
3) Wear the right clothes
Ok breathe. Is something we all say to ourselves when we feel our pants getting a little snug or that belt starts to leave an indentation around our abdomen. But this actually can serve as an apt reminder that you’re already feeling full from all that you’ve already consumed!
So listen to your body and say yes to wearing a good looking pair of pants that we normally wouldn’t wear to a party because we already know how tight they are and we want wiggle room.
This way you aren’t leaving any room (get it?) for failure – once you start to feel things are starting to get tight, it’s time to back away from that food tray and dessert table.
4) Mingling is your main focus
So let’s do a quick review.
We know we should continue to eat the way we normally do, regardless of that big party we’re attending at the end of the night, we also know to bring something that is tasty yet healthy, and we show up in a sharp looking pant suit and ring that doorbell.
‘Ding Dong’. The front door opens and you start saying hi and hugging people you recognize and automatically your mingling with everyone at the party. And that’s the way it should be. Stick to this momentum!
Don’t get caught up in the food (especially the appetizers, which I’ll get to in a second) even though that’s half the fun of the party; know that you’re there to make some fond memories and one of them shouldn’t be how you gained weight, felt bloated, threw up, or got sick from all that you ate, it should be about the people you connected with!
5) Stick to portion control
Here’s a good time to practice ‘eating with your eyes’ first. Make sure there is enough room on the plate between items, that you can clearly see the plate itself, and that there are clear lines between everything on your plate.
So even if it’s a buffet style cookout or party, make sure to survey what all is being offered and then plate up according to what looks to be the healthiest choices.
This does not mean that you can’t have your cake and eat it too, it simply means that you are only going to have a small piece of the cake and enjoy it THAT MUCH MORE.