The average American gains 7-10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas! It’s been reported that on Thanksgiving people eat on average about 4,500 calories and 200 grams of fat. It’s so easy to over indulge at holiday parties, as it’s your time to relax and enjoy whatever foods and beverages you want, right?
Eating disinhibition is a genetic trait that some people possess causing a tendency to overeat in response to different stimuli. This can occur in settings such as emotional stress or distractions. Be aware of your surroundings and what and how much you are eating.
- If you know you’re going to be going out for dinner or to a party, plan to exercise that day to burn a few extra calories. You can also get a Fitbit to track exactly how many calories you need to burn. Before going to dinner or party, take a fiber supplement or eat an apple. Follow this with 8 ounces of water and this will allow your stomach to feel full and help you resist the urge to over indulge. Try to wear something that fits tighter so you are less inclined to over eat.
- Bring a healthy, favorite side dish to your holiday event so you have something to eat that you know is healthy and you enjoy. If given an option, use a smaller plate and fill up on vegetables. Avoid simple sugars and white bread. These foods can initially raise your blood sugar but can leave you feeling hungry later. Load up on protein and vegetables.
- Limit alcohol. Alcohol has empty calories and it can lower your inhibitions causing you to over eat. Choose club soda with vodka and avoid fruity drinks, margaritas, and champagne which all increase blood sugar and calories. If you choose to drink alcohol try alternating it with water.
- Drink more water. Drinking water can make you feel full and consume less calories.
- Instead of having a whole piece of the pie, opt for 1/4 or 1/2 slice along with an herbal hot tea. Hot beverages following a meal help you flush fat from your body.
- Eat slowly! We are supposed to chew our food up to 30 times to absorb more nutrients, improve digestion and control our weight. Chewing your food also gives your gut time to tell your brain that you are full. The process of eating a meal should take about 20 minutes, so if you eat fast you might not feel full and will increase your chances of overeating.
- Get rid of the leftovers! Offer guests to take leftovers home and have tupperware containers ready to go.
- Get out and go for a walk a couple hours after you have consumed your holiday meal.
- Use the Caloriecount.com app to keep track of your caloric intake. An extra 3,500 calories will cause you to gain one pound. Having 500 extra calories per day can cause you to gain one pound per week. Consider getting your metabolic rate tested so you know how many calories you burn at rest.
- Weigh yourself. Keep track of your weight during the holidays so you can adjust your eating habits should you gain a few pounds.
- Most importantly be sure to de-stress during the holidays! This might include yoga, going to the spa, reading, or just meditating. Stress can trigger us to consume more calories and crave certain foods. Comfort foods that are higher in carbohydrates actually cause us to produce more serotonin which has a calming effect on our bodies.
I hope this helps you get through the holidays a little easier. Wishing you the best during this holiday season!