The holidays. It’s the time of year when the zippers on your clothes and the springs in your bathroom scale start getting really nervous. That’s because, for a lot of dieters, packing on pounds can be a holiday tradition.
I started thinking about this: A five-pound weight gain is a lot of food, if you consider that it takes 3,500 calories to gain a pound. This means you’d have to have major pig-outs on a daily basis or eat several reindeer at a buffet. You’d also have to spend the entire holiday season on the couch!
So why IS it so easy to gain weight during the holidays?
The traditional holiday dinner with appetizers can weigh in at more than 3,000 calories!
How about this year we change that tradition? Commit to a holiday in which you manage not to gain any weight back before it’s time to resolve to lose all that weight (and so much more) yet again.
Okay, with all the office parties, cocktail receptions, and dinner celebrations, can you eat, drink, be merry, stay fit and still follow the 17 Day Diet?
Answer: Absolutely—by adhering to my…
Easy-to-follow holiday diet strategies
1. Eat a healthy breakfast. This will help control cravings later on. (Sorry, eggnog isn’t considered a good egg substitute.)
2. Have healthy snacks on hand. Go for them before the sweets.
3. Eat a healthy dinner before you go to a holiday party. (Also, try not to eat an unhealthy dinner when you’re at the party.)
4. Prepare and take your own safe, low-calorie and low-fat foods to parties.
5. Choose 2-3 of the healthiest appetizers you can find (a little shrimp, some veggies or fruit, etc.) and put them on a small plate or napkin, then walk away from the table.
6. Be smart at the buffet table. Fill three-quarters of your plate with vegetables and fruits, the rest with protein. (Pumpkin pie and chocolate-covered strawberries don’t count!
7. Be extra good on nonparty days.
8. Limit alcohol consumption as it’s full of empty calories. instead sip on seltzers, club soda, or sparkling mineral water on the rocks with a citrus twist. Or opt for nonalcoholic beer or wine.
9. Stay Active – make sure you’re moving every day.
And most importantly…
Remember the reason for the season. Holidays are a chance to enjoy and celebrate with people you care about. Put your focus more on socializing, and less on eating and you’ll look back on this holiday season as your best and brightest yet!