The average American gains five pounds between Thanksgiving and the New Year.
We are pleased to offer these ten tips from our expert doctors and nutritionists to help the wellness-minded enjoy this holiday season without cheating a healthy lifestyle and expanding the waistline.
Don’t leave the house without snacks
Without snacks comes hunger, those frenzied “gotta eat” cravings that carry you right over to the hors d’oeuvres. Bring healthy snacks with you.
Eat something before you go to the party
About an hour before the holiday dinner, eat some fresh fruit or veggies. Watch your will power soar while your waistline stays in place.
Be a good guest (it’s good for you!)
Call your host and say, “I’d love to bring something. What are you planning on serving?” If you discover that one of the dishes is particularly unhealthy (or tempting), offer to bring your own version.
Select your first course foods so that they are low in calorie density
A huge green salad, a plate of fresh fruit, and a side of roasted vegetables add up to a lot of food, but not a lot of calories.
Dine like Europeans
Europeans remain slim by eating leisurely meals with much smaller servings than we typically eat in the U.S. And they more active in their daily lives, which certainly helps burn calories.
Don’t plant yourself in front of the buffet table
Settle down elsewhere, facing other pleasures. Is the band playing one of your favorite tunes? Grab a partner and go – far away from the buffet.
Don’t give up hours of joy for ten minutes of binging
After prime rib, a baked potato, and pecan pie a la mode, you’d be hard pressed to get out of your chair, let alone have fun with family or guests. The pleasure of a high-fat, high-calorie meal is short-lived.
Remember: It’s all about progress, not perfection
If after dancing and tree trimming, you find yourself right back at the buffet table, don’t beat yourself up. There’s a lot of area between a carrot stick and the whole chocolate cake.
Whatever you do, keep burning those calories
Exercise is especially critical during this time of larger-than-usual meals. In addition to your regular exercise schedule, plan activities like walks, hikes, bicycle rides, and dances with family and friends. The extra calorie burning can really help control your weight – and you’ll enjoy some wonderful times together.