If holiday weight gain is a common pattern in your life that always has you setting a New Year’s resolution to shed excess pounds, it may be time to change your strategy for holiday eating. It can be hard to make smart dining decisions with the abundance of treats available throughout the season and big holiday dinners on your schedule, but there are a few ways that you can reduce the impact of the holidays on your waistline.
Avoid the temptation to skip meals
Before a big holiday party, it might be tempting to pass on breakfast so that you save room for a large dinner, but this can actually cause you to eat more later on in the day because your body feels deprived. Plus, skipping meals can slow your metabolism down, meaning that the large meals you do eat will go straight to your thighs and hips. A high-protein, high-fiber meal – like Greek yogurt and granola – can keep you full and reduce the amount of excess calories you pack in during holiday meals.
Say “no thanks” to leftovers
It might be hard to pass on all of your favorite holiday treats, but try limiting how much you indulge by saving the creamy casseroles, sweet desserts, and fatty roasts exclusively for the day of your holiday meals. If you do the cooking at home, consider giving your leftovers away to guests. When you attend parties at a friend or family member’s house, pass on the leftovers when you’re ready to leave.
Count every calorie
You might forget about a huge source of calories in the holiday season that can add up quickly — beverages. From alcoholic libations to hot cocoa and eggnog, you could end up drinking nearly 500 calories in just one or two drinks. Remember to count these indulgences when you think about your calorie consumption so that you don’t overdo it with other high calorie foods on your plate.