Thanksgiving arrives this week, which means a time for gathering, drinking and of course eating. For weeks there will be leftovers then more holiday parties and snacks leading up to the New Year. Most people tend to overeat and the holiday weight gain comes creeping in. Food isn’t the only thing that can affect weight gain; alcohol can be a major factor, especially with special holiday cocktails like eggnog and sugary cider. Even though the average person only gains 1.05lb, some can gain up to five pounds and studies show that the weight doesn’t come off after the season ends. There are ways to still enjoy the holiday treats and eats without the added weight. Here a few tips to get you through the next six weeks of holiday joy without having to alter your lifestyle.
One of the easiest ways to overeat is grazing. You are in the kitchen chit chatting with your family as the cook of the house is preparing the food. You find yourself testing all the goodies and carrying on the conversation. All of sudden your hand is slapped from grabbing another delectable item because half the food is gone. This can be easily avoided by moving your conversation away from the food.
It’s quite obvious that one way to avoid weight gain is to exercise. It is simple mathematics, what you consume can be subtracted from what you burn. Get your butt off the couch and hit the gym, go for a walk or help clean the house. Just because it is Thanksgiving Day, doesn’t mean that’s an excuse to take a break. Get up in the morning and get it over with. Your body will also burn more calories throughout the day.
Don’t skip breakfast. If the feast isn’t served until a few hours after you wake, holding out for the big meal will cause you to over eat as your body will be in starvation mode. It is important to eat something even if it is light because it jump starts your metabolism for the day. That is why breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Drink a full glass of water before the meal. It allows you to feel full quicker and avoids overeating.
Eat from a smaller plate and drink from a smaller glass. Portions are the biggest deal breaker when it comes to eating and drinking right. If you fill a bigger plate, you most likely will eat it all. When the plate is smaller, it may still seem like you’re eating a lot simply because your plate is full. Same with drinking, grab a smaller wine glass, drink from a mug instead of a pint and if you are doing hard liquor, smaller glasses mean less room for mixers and smaller shots.
Cut calories when you can. Make foods with less sugar, substitute oils for applesauce, use the low-fat milk instead of whole and it’s always better to make from scratch then cooking prepackaged foods high in sodium and preservatives. The lowest calorie alcohol drinks are usually the clear ones so stick to vodka and gin if possible. Drinks made with liqueurs are going to have a high calorie content and sugar. Wine and champagne are also lower in calories and of course with beer… stick to the light kind.
On a final note, make sure to enjoy yourself over the holidays. Stress can be a huge factor affecting a person’s weight dramatically. This is supposed to be the happiest time of the year, so be merry and let your troubles go. Happy Thanksgiving!