When you’re trying to lose weight, the holiday season often becomes more dreadful than joyful. Surrounded by savory meals and decadent desserts, losing weight seems like a never-ending battle. However, with the right tips and tricks up your sleeve, you can continue losing weight throughout the holiday season. From Dr. Lori Scott at Scott Family Care in Kinston, North Caroline, here are six clever ways to maintain your weight loss goals throughout the holidays and start the new year off strong.
1. Schedule physical activity in your calendar
Treat your workouts like they’re the most important meetings of your day. Act like your life depends on attending these “meetings” — because it does. The act of physically writing down your workouts on your calendar can increase the likelihood that you actually do them. Finding an accountability buddy to exercise with helps, too.
2. Don’t completely restrict your favorite foods
Though this sounds backward and entirely counterintuitive, you shouldn’t deprive yourself of your favorite meals and snacks during the holidays. Food restriction often ends in binge-eating episodes and long-term disordered eating habits (it’s the forbidden fruit syndrome), so it’s best to nip that in the bud before it starts. Allow yourself to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation to avoid overeating later.
3. Stay hydrated
Sometimes, thirst signals manifest as hunger pangs. An easy way to maintain your weight loss throughout the holiday season is to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to avoid false hunger cues. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces — so, if you weigh 160 pounds, aim for 80 ounces of water each day.
4. Limit alcohol or drink on the rocks
Delicious holiday cocktails represent one big reason why many people gain weight during the holiday season. Loaded with sugar and laden with rich, heavy creams and liqueurs, themed cocktails aren’t the smartest move for those who want to lose weight. Either limit your intake or enjoy alcohol on the rocks for fewer calories (and don’t forget that alcohol itself contains seven calories per gram).
5. Eat lots of fiber and protein
Choose fiber- and protein-rich foods at holiday gatherings. Eat the turkey and ham; enjoy the sweet potatoes and green beans; and opt for whole-grain rolls instead of white. Fiber and protein keep you full and satisfied, so you’ll be less likely to over-eat and you may quell some cravings for other, less healthy foods.
6. Avoid mindless snacking
Heading into the holidays, countertops and kitchen tables begin brimming with scrumptious sweets and salty snacks. It’s way too easy to pass by and snag a handful without realizing what you’re doing. While a snack here and there won’t derail you, mindlessly shoveling mouthfuls of decadent holidays foods will. Try to remain mindful of snacking during the holidays.
Visit Lori Scott Family Care to learn more about weight loss and staying healthy during the holidays. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Scott by calling our Kinston, North Carolina, office at 252-238-7079. You can also book online today.