Holiday Nutritional Tips for Your Body & Mind

As we close in on the last couple of holidays for the year, and all our favorite traditions, temptations of holiday treats can be trying even for those who have a good deal of willpower. The Average American gain about 7-8 pounds during the holiday seasons…… BUT, there are ways to savor festive flavors and enjoy fine food without packing on the pounds.

  1. Don’t skip meals during the day or try to “save appetite” for big party or feast – as it usually will result in overeating. Instead, try to focus on healthy food options that rich in fiber. Increased dietary fiber can reduce total calorie intake, which help prevent weight gain over the holidays.
  2. Eat small portions. Holiday meals tend to be large and include second and third helpings. A common mistake is eating large portions of foods that are perceived as healthy. And yes, you can have your favorite dessert – but eat only the amount that it will take for you to be satisfied.
  3. Limit liquid calories. Alcohol, soda, and other calorie-rich beverages are prevalent during the holidays. These drinks can contribute a significant amount of sugar and empty calories to your diet, which can cause weight gain. Additionally, alcohol consumption is often linked to increased appetite and is a risk factor for weight gain.
  4. Mindful eating. Some studies suggest that focusing on how your body feels through a short body scan meditation can help you to tune in how hungry you really are and adjust your sweet eating. Also, chew slowly and thoroughly will allow you to better recognize your body’s fullness signals and consume fewer calories.
  5. Maintain physically active with family and friends. Sedentary actives such as sitting on the couch watching TV are common holiday traditions for many families. Inactivity can contribute to weight gain, especially if accompanied by overeating. Exercises, as simple as a family walk can get your mind off food and allow you to bond with your loved ones. It may not make you lose weight, but it can definitely help you keep your metabolic rate at a higher level.
  6. Get plenty of sleep. Sleep deprivation is common during the holidays may cause weight gain. Sleep restriction is linked to increased hunger hormone levels, ultimately leading to higher calorie intake. In addition, inadequate sleep also decreases your metabolism, which makes it hard for your body to burn fat.
  7. Control your stress levels. A stressful lifestyle can cause more cravings for junk food. Stress-related hormone may also cause weight gain by consuming higher level of calories.

The bottom, make sure you are getting plenty of exercise and limiting your intake of holiday treats. If you are diligent, you may find that you have not only prevented weight gain but even lost a few pounds during this celebratory season.