Weight gain is a common problem during the holiday season, but it can be
avoided if you have a plan and a bit of self-discipline, a nutrition specialist
says. Lack of sleep, an abundance of decadent food and the stress of the
holidays are the perfect storm for weight gain. Here are a few tips to
keep make your holiday a little bit healthier:
- Remind yourself how it feels to overeat and implement a personal wellness
plan to get you through the holiday season without adding to your waistline.
- Reduce the amount of food you prepare. Instead of 14 dishes, limit it to
seven or eight dishes. Doing so will save time and money and spare you
from eating leftovers for the next several days.
- Holiday meals are typically heavy in carbohydrates, so try reducing your
carb consumption for the day by replacing mashed potatoes with mashed
cauliflower. Your guests probably won't even notice the difference.
- Don't add marshmallows or brown sugar to sweet potatoes.
- Replace unhealthy green bean casserole with fresh steamed green beans with
low-fat cheese sprinkled on top or roasted green beans with a little olive
oil and fresh garlic.
- Substitute natural applesauce for oil or butter in your dessert recipes.
This simple ingredient swap not only adds moisture and flavor to baked
goods, but fiber and nutrients.
- At parties, choose either alcohol or dessert, but not both.
- Get plenty of sleep. Getting less than six hours of sleep a night causes
cravings for starchy, sugary foods and dissolves your resolve to make
healthy food decisions. Most health experts recommend at least seven hours
of sleep a night to feel fully rested.
- Exercise is another important factor in preventing weight gain during the
holidays, she noted.