Trimming the Holiday Fat
According to a 2009 study, the average person gains 1.7 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
The holiday season is often times challenging to navigate— dinner parties, holiday sweets baskets, leftovers and unwanted pounds. But staying on track doesn’t mean you have to go into hibernation.
According to a 2009 study, the average person gains 1.7 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Considering the average adult adds on 2.2 pounds annually, that means more than 75 percent of people’s yearly weight gain occurs during the holidays. What’s more, other research shows the extra weight put on is most likely not lost during the following year.
To enjoy the holidays and help prevent a season-long binge, don’t throw away healthy habits and make sure to plan ahead.
First and foremost, be realistic— everything gets more hectic during the holiday season. Therefore, practice clean eating during the week and slightly lighten up on your rules during the weekend.
Begin by editing your choices. Make the most of your leftover ham, turkey and trimmings by creating nutritious meals and snacks that will keep them from weighing you down. Be creative and seek out healthy, low-carbohydrate and low-fat recipes. For example, use low-or fat-free tortillas to wrap up turkey and vegetables for a healthy lunch. Add a small amount of cranberry sauce to give your turkey wrap a more festive flavor.
Another idea is to use turkey, ham or other meat on top of greens and vegetables to create a healthy salad. Add some fruit, low-or fat-free cheese and a few nuts and viola— a scrumptious mix.
Planning healthy choices will keep you from being tempted to break for high calorie treats. Sometimes its even as easy as deciding what to eat less of, more of or what to cut out so that things are more manageable.
One more way to prevent overeating during the holidays is to never go to a party hungry. Weight gain is based on calories in and out. Going to a party hungry will cloud your judgment and have you running for the not-so-healthy choices on the table. Be proactive and snack on dried fruits, nuts, high protein choice before arriving.
Then, while at the celebration, practice portion control and dish out a serving size that equals approximately 200 calories or less. By doing this, you can curb the temptation of overindulging.
Make sure to limit your alcohol intake, as well. Calories from alcohol add up quickly. A 12-ounce beer has 140 calories, a 5-ounce glass of wine has 120 calories and a cup of eggnog without the rum is 220 calories. So, decide how many drinks you will have beforehand and stick to your decision.
Remember to hydrate. Drinking water not only makes you feel full, it facilitates weight loss and expulses excess salts you might be retaining from the holiday food.
Finally, understand that exercise is just as important as diet. Follow the rule to never miss more than two days in a row of working out. Not only will this limit the pounds you could put on, it will decrease stress, increase your energy and help keep your waistline trim.
– Elaine Sirt-Hastings, RD, is a nutrition, energy, supplement and sports performance expert trusted by top athletes. She is a partner with pro-athletes including Olympic gold medalists and NFL, NBA, NLB, NHL, LPGA and NCAA athletes. Elaine has been practicing for 20 years and works contractually as a writer, spokesperson, product development, media resource and advocate for eating disorder and steroid awareness.
For more information or to contact Sirt-Hastings, visit www.elainehastings.com!