Holiday season is sneaking up on us and if you are trying to maintain or lose weight, this season can evoke mixed feelings. Just how do you ensure all the delicious temptations don’t interfere with your weight-loss plans?
Here’s a list of 10 tips to help you with healthy eating through the holidays:
- Watch out for liquid calories: Limit alcohol and soft drinks to the bare minimum at parties and social gatherings. They are high in calories and have no nutrition value.
- Avoid too much of tasting/testing of food: There is typically a lot of cooking and baking done during the holidays. Be aware that several small bites can add up to a significant number of calories and result in weight gain.
- Make fiber your friend: Do your best to add fiber-rich foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc.) to your diet. Fiber induces fullness and contains very few calories.
- Practice portion control: Eating larger-than-recommended portions is the easiest way to gain weight. Serving yourself on a small plate may help avoid this pitfall and keep your diet on track.
- Get enough sleep: Scientific studies have confirmed that there is a link between sleep deprivation and your waistline. Not enough sleep can make you lethargic (less calories burnt) and hungrier (more calories consumed).
- Temptations of the dessert: Instead of totally avoiding desserts, focus on your favorite treat and reject everything else. Have a small portion and eat it slowly savoring every bite.
- Limit processed foods: Processed foods contain a lot of excess sugar and fat. The holiday season may give you more time to cook healthy meals at home. This is a great way to control your diet.
- Control stress: Stress-reduction techniques like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help you stay on top of things during the holidays and avoid unhealthy habits such as emotional eating.
- Weigh yourself regularly: Studies have shown that people who step on the scales regularly are better able to maintain or reduce their weight. Just being aware of a slight increase in weight may be all the motivation you need to eat healthy.
- Don’t try for perfection: It is important to accept the fact that there may be the occasional slip-up along the way and that’s cool as long as it’s the exception and not the rule.
Dr. Marc Zaré is a diplomate of the American Board of Surgery. He specializes in minimally invasive surgery of the gastrointestinal system. With over 15 years of experience in clinical practice, he is one of the foremost experts of his field in Northern California. Dr. Zaré believes that modern surgery should be innovative, minimally-invasive, and patient-centered. His mission is to provide compassionate care based on sound scientific evidence.