The period of time from November to January is often difficult for many people who experience holiday weight gain. This is because of the many parties, dinners, and treats available during that time. There are, however, some steps to take to prevent holiday weight gain and ensure an enjoyable yet healthy holiday season.
Many people try to put off their exercise goals until New Year's, but this is not a great idea. Instead, begin or continue your current exercise plan throughout the holidays, and if you find that you've overindulged, step up your aerobic activity a bit. Burning a few extra calories can help to prevent extra holiday weight gain; do keep in mind that an exercise routine is not a license to eat everything you want.
One of the worst culprits of holiday weight gain is the holiday party. Most people attend a number of holiday parties every year, so it is important to plan ahead. First, never go to a party hungry; eat a healthy meal before you arrive. When you arrive at the party, choose a small plate instead of a large one, and select only your favorite appetizers, desserts, or foods. Try to avoid foods in gravies or heavy cream sauces, and eat slowly - this will help you to feel fuller sooner.
If you want to have an alcoholic beverage at a party, try to stick to one or two, if at all. Alcoholic drinks are full of empty calories. While you are at the party, try to distract yourself. Do not simply stand by the buffet all night; instead, focus on socializing and talking with friends and family. If you remain seated at the dinner table, do not continue to add food to your plate simply because it is there; it might be a good idea to take your plate into the kitchen once you have finished eating in order to avoid temptation.
Office treats are another source of holiday weight gain. One way to avoid snacking on calorie-heavy treats all day is to bring your own healthy snacks to keep at your desk, so you do not get up and wander into the breakroom. You might also bring your own healthy snacks when you are out running errands or doing holiday shopping. If your office has potluck lunches for the holidays, bring a healthy dish that you enjoy, and which everyone else can share. Planning ahead and trying to consciously make good choices will help to prevent seasonal weight gain without making you feel deprived.