8 Tips To Keep Calories At Bay This Festive Season

      Nov 26

The festive season is pretty much upon us. Now, with plenty of family and office holiday parties in the pipeline, the thought of apple pie, mashed potatoes, honey glazed ham, gravy and eggnog is probably making you feel stressed out, if you are worried about ruining your fitness plans. Let’s face it, most people put on anywhere between one to ten pounds during the holiday season alone. And, research indicates weight put on around the holiday season isn’t easy to lose – instead, those pounds accumulate year-after-year, sometimes leading to heart disease and Type-2 diabetes. Yikes. Well, here are 8 tips to help you keep all those unwanted calories at bay this holiday season –

1. Start A NEW Post-Feasting Family Tradition

With a lot of holiday parties happening, in addition to your normal work routine, taking time out to hit the gym during this season might be challenging. But, with a little bit of smart thinking, you can burn some calories after each family dinner by starting a new tradition, like a game of basketball, soccer, Frisbee, or even a long family walk around town post-feasting. The holiday season is about spending quality time with those who matter, so try to shift focus onto this important element.

2. Bring Out The Sexy Attire

You know what will make sure you hold yourself accountable to eating responsibly? Wearing something smart and sexy. Yes, that’s right. According to New York Times bestselling author JJ Virgin, you should bring out the skinny jeans, bandage dresses, slim-fit suit and nipped-in blazers. “…whatever makes you feel sleek and slim. Not only will you look hot, your outfit will offer subtle reinforcement to keep you from eating seconds on those peppermint bark cookies.”

3. Like, or Love?

When you see an eclectic spread of tempting options laid out buffet style on the dining table, night after night, it’s important to differentiate between dishes you absolutely love, and dishes that you like, but can live without, or eat later on throughout the year. Indulge in what you love the most, without guilt, by making it a point to SKIP the rest. Wait for all the food to be laid out on the table, and then decide {studies indicate you’re likely to eat 14% less!}, and use smaller plates and serving utensils, which could potentially reduce your intake by 30%

4. Go Easy On The Booze 

Alcohol contains a lot of unneeded calories. Although everyone is trying to add the “merry” to Christmas, it is important to go easy on all the booze. Restrict yourself to one glass of wine, or champagne, and make sure you pour drinks into tall, skinny glasses to reduce consumption. Or, even better, opt for a zero-calorie sparkler. You could also consider offering to bring punch for the party, and create a healthy drink for everyone, consisting of natural sweeteners and club soda.

5. Fill Up That Tummy Before Temptation Strikes 

Make it a point to avoid skipping any meals during the holiday season – you will end up overeating during dinner parties. Have a heavy breakfast, which will automatically reduce your hunger {and calorie-intake} throughout the rest of the day. And, keep healthy snacks around you at all times – at the office, in the car and at home. Going to buy gifts for everyone at the mall? Pop a healthy snack along the way, to prevent giving into all the unhealthy food court options. Are holiday treats piling up in the office pantry? Keep low-calorie options in front of you on your desk. And, before heading to a holiday party, have a small, healthy snack, so you eat less when presented with a calorie fest.

6. Monitor Yourself

Keep a diary, in which you track what you’re eating everyday. Or, download an app that tracks your calorie intake throughout the holiday season. Weigh yourself daily, to remind yourself you want to stay fit.

7. Don't Be Pushed

Is your favourite aunt, or your friend, pushing you to keep eating more? If you can’t get them off your case, then tell them you’re full, but would love to pack what they are offering as a snack to enjoy later on at home. You’ll dodge quite a few bullets this way!

8. It’s About Socializing, Not Eating

Most importantly, remember holidays are about socializing, more than pigging out. Spend quality time eating in smaller groups, so you can have more meaningful conversations. And, believe it or not, you might save yourself a lot of unwanted calories, too – eating in larger groups can result in nearly 76% more eating {just think about it – a bigger group means a longer dinner duration, which means more servings of everything}.   Enjoy the holiday season, and all the goodness it has to offer, including food, but plan your intake smartly with these eight tips to avoid unwanted weight gain.

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