With holidays just around the corner, you might wonder how you’ll make it from Thanksgiving to the New Year without gaining any weight. Between holiday parties and festive snacks, weight gain is common during holiday seasons across the globe.
Dr. Afia Naqvi and our skilled team of providers here at Rénove Medical Spa don’t want you to enter the holiday season without tools and strategies for success. We are experts at helping you lose weight, but we’re also here to help prevent weight gain.
Here are eight strategies to navigate the holidays without packing on the pounds:
1. Get plenty of sleep
Even though you might be tempted to stay up late and partake in the festivities, don’t let your sleep quality diminish over the holidays. Believe it or not, inadequate sleep can contribute to weight gain in a few ways. Lack of sleep can:
- Make you hungrier (because it increases your hunger hormone)
- Increase your risk of making poor dietary choices
- Decrease the chance you’ll work out
In other words, a lack of sleep is linked to eating more high-caloric-density foods, feeling hungrier, and logging fewer workouts.
2. Snack wisely
One of the highlights of holiday parties is the array of snacks and appetizers. Unfortunately, snacking easily leads to weight gain. When you snack, it’s easy to overeat without realizing how many calories you’re consuming. Snacks like chips and dip, cheese and crackers, or puff pastries tend to be high in fat and calories.
You can snack wisely by:
- Putting out healthier options such as hummus, raw veggies, or make dips from yogurt instead of mayonnaise
- Putting your snacks on a plate (and watching portions) instead of eating off the serving platter
- Drink water before you snack (sometimes hunger pains are confused for thirsty cues)
If you have a hard time resisting, sit and chat in another room rather than hang out by the appetizers.
3. Stay active
During the holidays, you might stay inside more often, chatting with family or watching movies together. This is a prime time to add a little bit of physical activity into your day. Go for a walk with family members, play a game of football in the yard, or go for a run before the party starts. Any extra bit of physical activity can help combat the increased calories of a party.
4. Focus on protein
Have you noticed that many snacks and holiday dishes are carb-heavy? Be sure to focus on protein and eat enough. Protein can help you feel satisfied, which reduces your desire to snack shortly after a meal.
5. Manage your stress levels
High levels of stress are linked to increased eating. Studies show that if you’re stressed, you’re more likely to eat junk food. To manage your stress levels over the holidays, practice deep breathing, meditate, or try to exercise more.
6. Watch your portions
It’s easy to underestimate portion sizes, especially if you’re using a bigger plate. Don’t hesitate to bring a food scale to measure out your portions.
7. Limit taste-testing
Taste-testing is a sneaky source of calories. It’s easy to rack up the calories before you’ve even started the meal. Try to limit the number of times you test a sauce or dip. Ask others to help you taste-test and assess seasoning. If you need to test something, take as small of a bite as you can.
8. Add fiber to your meals
Like protein, fiber also helps you feel full. Be sure to include fiber-rich options on your plate. Fiber can be found in vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
And if you’re not already at your goal weight…
We can help! You don’t need to wait until January 1 to start your diet. We offer a variety of weight loss options (including nutritional counseling and planning) at our Kingwood, Texas medical spa.
Enter the holiday season with confidence. Call us at 346-200-8481 or visit us online to request an appointment.