Dieting During the Holidays: The Easy Way

Photo by Lisa Fotios

The holidays are extraordinary when many people let themselves go, eating and drinking with their families and loved ones more than they usually would. It’s the time to indulge, and many people don’t want to think about dieting or watching their weight.

Nevertheless, if you’re trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight even during the holidays, it’s necessary to be mindful of what you eat and drink during the holidays. Here are some tips on how to diet during the holidays:

Avoid high-calorie holiday foods.

Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to overdose on high-calorie foods. This includes pies, cookies, eggnog, and other holiday favorites loaded with sugar and fat. But don’t worry; plenty of healthier alternatives can still satisfy your sweet tooth. If you’re cooking, look for healthy, low-calorie recipes online. When you’re at a holiday party, try to avoid the temptation of high-calorie foods by first filling up on more nutritious appetizers. Besides, people are now getting creative with their holiday food, so you might be surprised at the healthier options available.

Drink in moderation.

It’s easy to get carried away with drinking during the holidays, whether at a holiday party or just sitting at home with family. But too much alcohol can quickly sabotage your diet. Not only is alcohol full of empty calories, but it can also result in poor decision-making when it comes to food choices. If you’re going to drink alcohol during the holidays, do so in moderation. Stick to one or two drinks and alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Photo by cottonbro studio

Stick to healthy portion sizes.

It can be tempting to overeat, especially when you’re bombarded with all sorts of holiday food and mouthwatering aromas, but stick to healthy portions. Remember, just because there’s a lot of food doesn’t mean you have to eat it all! Use a smaller plate, so you don’t feel the need to fill it up, and take your time consuming so you can listen to your body’s satiety cues. It’s also a good idea to eat slowly and savor each bite.

If you’re still feeling hungry after your first helping, wait a few minutes before going back for seconds. Chances are, you might not be as hungry as you thought.

Get moving.

The holidays are a great time to stay active. You can do plenty of fun activities to burn off those holiday calories, such as going for a walk or hike, playing a game of touch football, or even just dancing around the living room. Staying active will not only help you offset the calories you consume, but it’ll also help reduce stress, which might also lead to unhealthy eating habits.

During holidays, people are usually off from school or work, so they use that extra time to do exercises outdoors or even at home. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise can help burn off those holiday calories.

Make healthy food choices when eating out.

Opt for leaner protein options, such as turkey or fish, when ordering holiday food, and fill up on vegetables instead of higher-calorie sides like mashed potatoes or stuffing. And when it comes to dessert, share it with someone, so you don’t end up eating the whole thing yourself.

Healthy options do not mean you have to sacrifice taste. With a bit of creativity, you can still enjoy all your favorite holiday foods without sabotaging your diet. It’s actually fun to experiment with healthier recipes, and you might be surprised at how good they can be.

Eat small but frequent meals.

You can skip meals or snacks. In fact, it’s essential to eat small, frequent meals to keep your metabolism going and to prevent overeating later on. But then again, make sure you choose healthy foods low in calories and fat. Good options include fruits, vegetables, whole grain bread or crackers, low-fat yoghurt, or a small handful of nuts.

Drink plenty of water.

Staying hydrated is always essential, but it’s especially crucial when trying to lose weight. Drinking plenty of water allows you to feel fuller and more satisfied, making you less likely to pig out. It’ll also help your body function properly and prevent water retention. Water also has zero calories, so there’s no such thing as too much water. However, avoid flavored or sugary drinks, as they can quickly add up in calories.

Avoid fad diets.

Fad diets are trending weight-loss plans that guarantee drastic results. They might help you lose weight quickly, but they often need to be more sustainable in the long run. Plus, they can be pretty dangerous. So, if you want to lose weight and keep it off, steer clear of fad diets. Instead, focus on your food choices and be more active.

Avoid eating mindlessly.

Mindless eating happens when you eat without paying attention to what or how much you consume. It’s easy to do, especially when you’re busy chatting with friends or family, watching TV, or working on your laptop. But mindlessly eating can lead to overeating, so it’s crucial to be fully aware of how much you’re putting in your mouth.

An excellent way to avoid mindless eating is to measure your food ahead of time. For example, if you’re planning to have a snack, measure out a serving size and put it in a small bowl or on a plate. Once it’s gone, you’re done. Another way is to avoid eating too late at night, which can lead to weight gain because your body has a harder time digesting food before bed.

Don’t deprive yourself.

Remember, the holidays are supposed to be a joyful time, so don’t make them all about weight loss and don’t deprive yourself. Don’t beat yourself up! If you slip up and overeat or skip a workout, get back on track and continue working towards your goals. And most importantly, enjoy them in moderation, and you’ll be fine.

Depriving yourself would only lead to binge eating later on. So, if you want that slice of pie, go ahead and have it. Just balance it out with healthier meals and snacks throughout the day and get some exercise in too.

Final Thoughts

Holidays are all about celebrating with friends and family, but you can still keep your healthy eating habits from going out the window. With a little bit of effort in planning, you can still enjoy all your favorite holiday foods while staying on track with your weight loss goals. Remember to focus on portion control, make healthy food choices, and remain active. And most importantly, don’t deprive yourself. Enjoy the holidays in moderation, and you’ll be just fine.

Have a very happy holiday!

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