They say “it’s the most wonderful time of the year,” and it’s no wonder why – with loving families, uplifting carols and an overall spirit of giving in the air, it’s tough not to get into the holiday spirit! Perhaps what makes us all so merry is that we are able to celebrate the season with some of our favorite holiday traditions, and for most, that includes baking treats. Although delicious, these tempting treats and sweets may not be the healthiest.
To combat overindulgence, WebMD outlines 10 tips to watching your waistline during the holidays.
Top 10 Tips Don’t arrive on an empty stomach. Arriving hungry is perhaps the worst thing you can do to guarantee that you’ll overeat at a holiday party. Eat a nutritious snack before you arrive, and drinking water before a meal actually helps fill you up before you fill up your plate. Remember the ‘reason for the season.’ There’s no denying that food plays a big role in holiday celebrations, but don’t let the delicious food keep you from enjoying quality time with family and friends. Offer to help set the table or prep the food – anything that will keep you moving and spending time with your loved ones. Pace yourself. You may have heard this before, but chewing slowly actually fills you up more than if you cram as much food as you can in the least amount of time possible. Take your time, and again, enjoy the company of those around you. Keep track of hors d’oeuvre. Though tiny, hors d’oeuvres can be tricky since it’s so easy to lose track of how many you’ve eaten. Set a limit before you arrive, and as an added trick, keep the toothpicks from the hors d’oeuvres in your pocket to help you keep track of how many you eat. Beware of the buffet. Buffets are probably the most tempting thing out there, but they’re also the easiest way to lose track of what you eat. Start at the healthy end of the buffet so you’re more likely to load your plate with healthier food. Limit your alcohol intake. Not only is alcohol high in calories, but it also causes you to lose control over what you eat. Don’t drink too much, and consider sipping water or club soda at parties. Choose sweets wisely. This might be the hardest tip on the list, but it’s better to take a small portion of one dessert than to load your plate with several different desserts. Bring a healthy dessert. When you hear ‘holiday desserts,’ you may think of cookies, cakes and pies, but there are other options out there. Bring a healthy dessert you know you won’t be able to resist, and others won’t be able to either! Limit ‘taste-tests.’ Hosting a holiday party can be stressful, and you want to make sure your food is cooked to perfection for your guests. But this can be a slippery slope to constantly eating while cooking. Two small bites of each food item pre- and post-seasoning are enough to ensure perfection. Have a post-meal walk. Invite those with you to walk off the great food you just ate – it might just become a new family holiday tradition!
These helpful tips are all simple things you can do, but don’t worry if you weren’t as diligent in watching your waistline this holiday season – just follow these tips to shed holiday weight and you’ll be back on track in no time!