Slim and Trim Tips for Keeping Your Holiday Sparkle
‘Tis the season for holiday office parties, festive dinners, cocktail gatherings and sweet temptations just about everywhere you look. Welcome to the dreaded holiday weight gain season. Or is it?
For years, it was popular knowledge that folks gained between five and seven pounds during the holidays as they swilled eggnog and piled plates high at party buffets. But, the truth is most folks don’t gain that much.
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that most people gain only one pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. But before you grab another sugar cookie grab this – if you don’t lose it in the New Year -one pound a year over ten holidays equals ten unwanted pounds no matter how you do the math.
So here are some tips to help avoid holiday weight gain:
-Try to eat regular meals and snacks so that you are not famished when you arrive at a holiday party and might tend to overeat
-Remember that holiday gatherings are for enjoying time with family and friends; make that the focus not the food
-Don’t deprive yourself of holiday food favorites; you may crave them even more
-Practice portion control; take small portions of high calorie favorites and savor them
-If you overeat one day; try to cut back the next. It’s about balance over a span of days.
-Fill your plate with a balanced selection of foods from the buffet; make a meal instead of mindlessly eating
Naughty and Nice Foods
-Know what you’re getting into; did you know eggnog has 360 calories per cup?
-Healthy holiday favorites include: boiled shrimp, turkey, roast beef, sweet potatoes, winter squash, steamed green beans, and fresh fruit salads.
-Deck the halls with boughs of holly but accessorize foods with care. Adding nuts, cheese, cream sauces, gravies, whipped cream, or syrups adds extra calories.
-Liquid calories can add up quickly as you enjoy holiday libations. Champagne and dry rose wines are among the lowest in calories per glass; sweet and creamy drinks such as spiked eggnog or chocolate martinis among the highest.
-Take advantage of every calorie burning opportunity during the busy holiday season; climb the stairs instead of taking the escalator or elevator and park further away at shopping centers.
-Remember that exercise helps fight stress; take a walk for vanity and sanity!
-Holiday lists aren’t just for gifts! A study from Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research found that those who kept daily food and physical activity records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records. Researchers say the process of seriously reflecting on what you eat and how much helps dieters become more aware of habits and face the facts. It also puts the brakes on mindless munching such as grabbing an extra handful of chips at a holiday party or snacking on bits of brownies when food diaries demand an honest record of every bite.
Energize with Healthy Gifts – If the demand of buying last minute holiday gifts is dragging you down here are a few bright ideas in the healthy living category.
- Salad spinner- create a gift basket with olive oils, mustards and vinegars.
- Slow cooker- one of the best ways to tenderize tasty cuts of lean meat in stews packed with tasty vegetables.
- Microplane grater – for zesting citrus, grating whole spices to add flavor without calories
- Specialty spices – more expensive spices like cardamom, vanilla, saffron, smoked paprika and curry powders are elegant gifts to add flavor and healthy antioxidants with no calories.
- Immersion blender – make rich and creamy textured soups and sauces from cooked vegetables without the need for much or any cream.
- Fitness bands – one of the hottest healthy gifts this year. Wearable digital fitness bands keep track of activity, food intake, and sleep patterns.
- Fresh herb garden kits – a great way to get fresh, seasonal taste in foods with little containers of fresh herbs that can start to sprout now on winter windowsills.