I love the festive holiday season. I love the gatherings and mini party food — the barbecue-covered cocktail smokies and the chocolate-covered goodness that melts in your mouth. Who can say no to Christmas cookies? After all, you can only get them once a year! But what I don’t love is the six to eight pounds I put on at the end of the festivities. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but it’s enough to have me eating rice cakes until Valentine’s Day.
Is gaining weight over the holidays season on your mind? This year I told myself that I would make better choices during the holidays. I’ve committed to listening to my body so that I don’t overdo it and have to be rolled out of someone’s living room on Christmas day.
In recent years, several studies have shown that on average, people only gain one pound during the holiday season, and those who are overweight may gain up to five pounds. The question remains, what is considered the holiday season? The festivities can start as early as Halloween and continue through New Year’s. Your food choices and number of office parties, family gatherings, or church potlucks you enjoy during the season will determine if you fall into the average one pound holiday weight gain.
The New York Times reports, “Most people don’t ever lose the pound of weight they put on during the holidays, according to a report in The New England Journal of Medicine. Since the average weight gain during adulthood is about one to two pounds a year, that means much of midlife weight gain can be explained by holiday eating. For people who are already overweight, the holiday weight news is worse. Although the average gain is only one pound, people who are already overweight tend to gain a lot more. One study found that overweight people gained five pounds or more during the holidays.”
Here are 6 simple steps I will be taking so that I don’t get the dreaded nonreturnable Christmas gift that keeps on giving.
1. Know yourself. If you’ve never been able to keep cookies in your kitchen without overindulging, then just admit it and stop thinking that this time those homemade cinnamon rolls dripping with butter and cinnamon will not tempt you when you go in the kitchen. They will. So get them out of your house. Don’t buy, bake, or store tempting sweets around your house.
2. Just say “NO.” Declining politely is okay to do. Don’t be afraid to say, “No, thank you” or “I really shouldn’t eat another bite.” Telling yourself no might be even harder.
3. Don’t ever go to a party on an empty stomach. If you do, you’re setting yourself up for failure. What are we to do when we’re ravenous and lose all self-discipline?
4. Survey the table. The truth is you will indulge in some of the holiday goodies, but do it with moderation. Survey the table and choose two or three (small portion) goodies you will enjoy. Snack on healthy options for the remainder of the time.
5. Bring a healthy snack to share. Ask the host/hostess if you can bring a healthy snack. Most likely they will appreciate the offer, and you now have one food you can count on being healthy.
6. Be awesome at the next meal! Just because you ate poorly at one meal or overindulged at the office party doesn’t mean you’re done. Don’t let one bad meal ruin your whole day of making better choices. Get the phrase “I’ll try better tomorrow” out of your vocabulary. You can be awesome at your next meal; you don’t have to wait until tomorrow!
What are some ways you survive the Holidays eating frenzy?
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