Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain: The "Naughty and Nice" of the Holiday Season
HO! HO! HO! The holidays are here. Many say it’s the most wonderful time of the year surrounded by cheer, twinkly lights, and the bright hope for a new year. In reality though, it is also a period that is bursting (along with our pants) with burps, bloating, and did someone say, “10 pound weight gain?” While the lucky few may escape this, the majority of us are stuck raising our hands admitting holiday defeat.
Here are some tips to avoid packing on the pounds this holiday:
1. Before joining family & friends, fill up on fiber.
a. Foods like apples and kale fill our stomachs so we feel less inclined to snack big, and more likely to consume smaller portion sizes (and subsequently less calories).
2. Pair sugary foods with fats and proteins.
a. Not only does it taste more delightful to add some healthy butter to that warm croissant, but it also helps slow down the absorption of sugar. For protein, grab a handful of your favorite almonds, walnuts, or pecans.
3. Drink more water.
a. It sounds simple, right? However, many of us know that it is easier said then done. Why reach for the water when there’s a punch bowl filled with extra Christmas “spirit.” By increasing water intake though your system, it is more equipped to flush out sugar, and many other toxins (such as preservatives and food dyes) that might be hidden in that holiday treat.
4. Go for a walk.
a. One of my favorite family traditions growing up was eating a huge holiday meal and then all going for a walk, while throwing the football. Not only is it good to get out and get some fresh air, but research shows that walking within 30 minutes of mealtime will prevent your sugar levels from spiking. This is truly, a two thumbs up.
5. Choose just one.
a. You walk around the corner and see a table filled with desserts: pie, cakes, cookies, candies…need I go on? We all know that feeling of, “oh no, this is not going to end well.” This year, before even turning that corner, go into it with the intention of having JUST ONE. With a plan set ahead of time you are less likely to indulge in “sampling” the whole table.
Lastly, when you grab your plate take a moment, pause, and look around the room. See all of the faces and remind yourself what the holidays are really all about. It is a time to be grateful for everything that we have, and enjoy all of the love that encompasses our lives. Once you do this, you just might look down at your plate and realize you really don’t need the extra sugar to make this day special. Your life is already occupied by sweetness!
Can’t remember all of these tips? No problem! Even if you can only commit to one of these tips, keeping your weight managed during the holiday IS possible. So go ahead, and enjoy yourself this holiday season. As Dr. Hibler reminds us when we talk about weight management, “We’re not looking for perfection, we’re simply striving for balance.”
Let’s toast to this holiday season. May this year we concentrate on filling our hearts with a joyful spirit, and less on filling our tummies with dessert.
(Pfffff and if all else fails, blame it on the elves.)
Janna Hibler, ND, MS and Nutrition is our “Mommy and Me” Doctor at Grand Rapids Natural Health. As a Naturopathic Doctor, and Clinical Nutritionist she loves helping women and children grow into their best version of themselves. Treating fatigue, fertility, insomnia, mood, thyroid, behavioral disorders, ADHD, headaches, weight loss, and gut issues she can help your family too.
Follow Dr. Hibler on Instagram as @holistic_mommyandme_doc, and to schedule a complimentary meet and greet call the office at 616-264-6556.