The six-week stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day brings family, festivities and so much food. During this time, it’s easy to gorge on sweets, savory dishes and booze. But those extra calories don’t disappear. According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Americans gain about one pound per holiday season.
If you’re trying to lose or manage weight, or simply eat healthy, there are ways to enjoy the offerings without packing on extra calories. Here are five tips on eating healthy this holiday season.
First, don’t skip meals. Often, we choose to skip breakfast or lunch in favor of a big dinner, but this can cause blood sugar levels to spike and lead to hunger and overeating. Eat balanced meals every day.
Second, stay away from the food table. It’s easy to socialize near the food, but this leads to absentminded munching. When you arrive at a party, grab a plate of food, but then sit on the opposite side of the room. That way, if you want more food, you’ll have to make a conscious effort to grab it.
Third, eat fruits and vegetables. These options may not look as appeasing at a party, but they’ll keep you full without adding empty calories.
Fourth, if you plan to drink, alternate between alcohol and water. For every cocktail, drink a full glass of water. This will keep you hydrated and stop you from consuming additional calories.
Finally, indulge in small amounts. When offered dessert, take half a serving. For example, half the cookie versus the whole, or a spoonful of ice cream versus the bowl.
The holiday season is a joyous time, so focus on what matters — your loved ones and the celebration — and you won’t be focused on the food.