According to WebMD, the average person gains one to two pounds over the holidays, with many people reporting as much as seven to 10 pounds! Over a 10 year period that can add up to a significant amount of unwanted weight. To prevent holiday weight gain over the next few weeks, follow these five simple tips.
- Pick Protein: Proteins are essential in maintaining a healthy weight. They are associated with a greater sense of satisfaction and they are important for healthy muscle growth. For your holiday celebrations, serve up turkey, roasted chicken, or vegan options like quinoa, lentils, or beans.
- Make Smart Substitutions: Swapping unnecessary ("bad") fats for essential fats found in foods like avocados in your recipes can contribute to healthier holidays! Try cutting out butter and oils and instead, use applesauce, avocado, banana or flax instead. Coconut and olive oils for baked goods are also better options. Guacamole or Greek yogurt are great options for your veggie platters, instead of ranch or sour cream. These healthy fats also tend to be more filling, especially when paired with fiber!
- Resist Spirited Merriment: Generally speaking, calories from alcohol are empty of nutritional value and often heavy in calories. In addition, drinking too much can lead us to lose our inhibitions and good judgement around food- causing us to overeat and take in too many calories. If you must indulge in a holiday drink, choose a tall and thin glass. Research shows that people to pour less into a tall glass rather than a short, wide one.
- Use Smaller Plates: Using a smaller plate can actually trick us into feeling fuller. A full plate always looks satisfying, no matter the size. If you are at a buffet style celebration, grab a salad plate instead of a standard dinner plate. Before you fill your plate, look over the food selections- so that you are prepared to choose only the foods you really want. Be careful to also not stack your food up tall! Another worthwhile strategy is to wait for a second helping. Odds are, you will feel full after just one plate, if you give your body time to recognize how satisfied it is.
- Eat Smart All Day: To avoid overeating at the end of your day, eat smart throughout the day! During the day, eat small, heathy meals, with emphasis on proteins, fiber and healthy fats that will keep you full. Don't arrive with an empty belly and be sure that you have drank plenty of water through the day. Prepare for your holiday party obligations by mentally rehearsing how you will eat and drink and plan ahead. Having a plan, and giving yourself permission to politely say, "no" will help to prevent the impulse to give in to the party mentality.
Campbell County Health's Wellness Services works to reduce health risks and promote overall wellness among employee groups and individuals across the northeastern Wyoming region. To learn more about Wellness, please visit
www.cchwyo.org/Wellness or call 307.688.8051.
This blog was written by Rachel Wilde CPT, MA, CCH Wellness Services Technician and Phlebotomist