The holidays are fast approaching, which means not only time spent with friends and family, but also delicious food and lots of it. According to the Calorie Control Council, the average Thanksgiving dinner is a whooping 3,000 calories. Once you add in the nibbling, drinking, and snacking surrounding the dinner, then you have consumed over 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving night. That does not include the leftovers that are filling your fridge or the cookie dough waiting in anticipation for the next holiday.
By the time the holiday are over, the average American thinks they have gained anywhere from 5-10 lbs. However, according to the only study ever conducted on the matter, most Americans only gain 1 lb. This may seem like a sigh of relief. However, this is what your newly added fat looks like:
It’s pretty gross looking. The study also discovered that, while most people only gain one of these, this pound will never be lost. Being that after 5 years, you now have this:
This is where the positive news comes in. You don’t have to fall into that statistic! There are plenty of ways to cut your calories during the holidays without sacrificing all of the food you love. Try the tips below to avoid holiday weight gain:
- Don’t starve yourself in preparation for the big meal. While it may seem like a good idea at the time to not eat anything until Thanksgiving dinner, this can actually cause you to eat more at dinner than you would have normally.
- Choose only your must-haves when it comes to sweets and unhealthier options. If you cannot wait for grandmom’s pumpkin pie, then have a slice! Instead, skip the other desserts.
- Use smaller plates. This trick stems back from growing up when we were taught to clean our plates. Our bodies started to associate being full with a clean plate. By using a smaller plate you are able to trick your mind into thinking you are full sooner, causing you to eat less than you would have with a larger plate.
- If you are hosting, send your guests home with leftovers. This way you are getting the food out of your house and your guests will love you for it.
- Pick and choose the best foods at each party. If your aunt makes better stuffing than your best friend, eat the stuffing at her house and skip it at your friend’s. This way you are avoiding doubling up in portions by only having the best of each dish.
- Exercise, exercise, exercise. Even though it is the holidays, that does not mean you can forgo your exercise routine. Exercising will help to boost your metabolism and burn some of your excess calories. Try getting your family and friends involve by going to a group walk or starting a tag football game.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water helps to ease hunger making you less likely to overeat.
- Be positive. If you keep pointing out the “bad” things you have eaten, you will not enjoy your holidays and you will eventually give up trying to be healthy.
- Offer to bring a healthy dish to a party. This will not only help the host, but will allow you to have at least one healthy option to eat while you are there.