Worried about the extra pounds you may pick up during the holidays? Here are some weight loss tips and weight management ideas to battle the bulge!
Each holiday season, it seems like I end up with a few extra pounds by the end of December. It’s been estimated that the typical Thanksgiving meal can contain around 2000 calories. To my shock, I learned that this is as much as I should consume in a single day! With food in the form of tasty concoctions and treats being a very common choice for gifts during this time of year, it’s no surprise that we all end up grappling with unwanted weight gain by the time the festivities are over.
But you don’t have to follow a strict diet or grueling exercise regimen to make sure you keep the pounds at bay. Even a few simple tricks can help you maintain your weight through all the fun and celebration.
I, for one, will be working to skip the holiday weight gain; I’m hoping to send the scale in the other direction with a few weight management ideas. Here are some thoughts to get me started!
Great Weight Loss Tips and Weight Management Ideas
1. Drink lots of water!
First and foremost, I’m going to keep up my habit of taking my reusable water bottle with me when I go out. That way, I can say “NO” to the minty milk shakes and other sugary drinks that tempt me while I’m out. I’m using a teeny bottle right now, but if I scale up to a larger water bottle like the ones from SIGG, I’ll stay refreshed for longer.
2. Maintain a food diary.
Earlier in the year, I used a food diary to track my portions and the calories I consumed for each meal. I fell out of the habit during the summer, but US News has noted that food diaries work because they make you accountable. Besides, I don’t want to have to write down that I ate 43 cookies at the parties I attended! Any notebook can work for this, but I especially like the looks of a Moleskine notebook. It would fit in a pocket or purse without screaming “she’s trying to lose weight!” to everyone.
3. Check out online sites for weight loss programs, tools and resources.
In addition, I can give online programs like FitDay another try. Most of them have resources like calorie counters, an online food diary, and more. Or I can program an online calendar program like Google’s to remind me to make healthier choices during this season. If I wanted to follow the example of other weight loss battlers, I could even set up a blog to challenge myself 🙂 .
4. Don’t go out too hungry.
Before I head out to parties or to join friends and family at restaurants, I usually eat a little: I fill up on a small portion of yogurt at home. By doing so, I’m able to pay attention to the people I’m meeting rather than obsessing over the food. If I’m partially sated, then I’ll be able to eat lightly elsewhere. For instance, if soup’s on the menu at a restaurant, I’ll be able to have that, instead of something fried. Also, I’m making an effort to enjoy more vegetables and fruit.
When I’m out shopping, I’ll be taking a stash of almonds or some cubed cheese. These snacks will keep me away from the temptation of the mall’s food court and keep me focused on finding bargains.
5. Share your edible goodies.
When I receive food gifts, I typically consume a small portion, then take the rest home to share. I like the delicious fudge my neighbor makes each year, but I’m going to eat less of it this time. Also, I’m going to suggest we spend time together in ways that don’t involve food — there might be a craft or hobby we can share instead.
6. Plan ahead for celebrations and holiday meals.
When it comes to holiday meals, it helps me to plan ahead. For instance, when I make stuffing, I like to use whole grain bread so I can benefit from the fiber. I also try to steer the menu towards healthier choices, which means no deep fried turkey and less fatty gravy than in years past. There are fat separator strainers (like the one by OXO) that should help us household chefs a lot. I can also swap the pies and cakes for lighter fare such as apples, frozen yogurt, and gelatin desserts.
7. Make wise food choices and go for lighter meal options.
During the week, I’m going to continue eating more fiber, which will keep me full for longer. Last night, I made black beans in my slow cooker and froze them. Throughout the holiday season, I’ll use the beans in wraps, soup, and maybe even veggie burgers. Also, I’m going to keep eating high-fiber cereal and other healthy breakfast options instead of doughnuts and the drive thru breakfast sandwiches I used to grab.
8. Get some regular exercise as much as possible.
Although I always feel like I don’t have enough time to schedule a workout, I still need to exercise to beat the weight gain. WebMD has some fat-burning strategies to assist me. I’ve thought of going for a walk with my family or friends in the afternoons, and of picking up an inspiring audiobook and enjoying a hike on my own. During the weekends, I figure that my family and I can do some vigorous cleaning in the house or at the car wash. A new rake would help me gather up all the leaves in my front yard and give my muscles a stretch at the same time.
I’ve also thought about volunteering to help someone with errands as exercise. Several times over the years, I’ve helped an older relative with his holiday shopping and each time, it would feel like we went through a marathon. We’d actually park in the hinterlands to burn a few more calories too.
Finally, as a last resort to loved ones who insist I eat more than I want, I’m going to bring out the biggest weapon in my arsenal: a firm “no, thanks”. Hear that, Granny? 🙂