Summer Smiles, Grad Gifts, and Great Giveaways
- May 31, 2023
I recently heard on the radio that the average American can expect to gain 1-5 lbs. over the holidays. A pound or two doesn’t seem like much, but year after year that weight builds up, and one pound becomes five pounds, becomes ten pounds, etc. This Christmas season, I’m not only trying to avoid gaining
I recently heard on the radio that the average American can expect to gain 1-5 lbs. over the holidays. A pound or two doesn’t seem like much, but year after year that weight builds up, and one pound becomes five pounds, becomes ten pounds, etc. This Christmas season, I’m not only trying to avoid gaining weight but am also working off baby weight, having had my second child this past spring. No matter your size or shape, weight is extremely subjective from person to person. Whatever the scale reads, it shouldn’t be seen as good or bad, but more so in terms of how you feel inside your own skin. If you’re feeling healthy in your skin right now and want to maintain that feeling, or if you aren’t feeling so great, here are a few approaches to weight control in the midst of this feasting season.
Moderation in all things. From Halloween candy to New Year’s Eve champagne, and for everything between a little can be fun, too much can be misery-inducing. The key to surviving the holidays (whether you’re consciously watching your weight or not) is portion control. Overeating and over-drinking can cause you to feel horrible no matter your weight. Whether it’s eggnog or pumpkin roll, a little goes a long way. But, don’t feel you have to limit yourself, instead of saying “no” to certain foods, take a half or even 1/3 of your normal helping. Then check in to see if you’re still hungry. You can always go back for more if you truly are not satiated. For family potlucks and buffets, I tend to portion out 2-3 bites per item. This way, I can taste everyone’s dishes and see which items I like best, then go back for seconds of my favorites if I’m still hungry.
Not all Christmas cookies are created equal. Speaking of the best, not every holiday treat may appeal to your personal preferences. For baked good and sweets, I try to focus on my favorites, like buckeyes, the aforementioned pumpkin roll, and anything with nuts. Gingerbreads, sugar cookies, and butter cookies are good but not as good to me. So, instead of devouring all the desserts, focus on your favorite treats and let yourself indulge just a bit.
Hiking, Skiing, and Snowboarding oh my! There are so many great outside winter activities this time of year. Like desserts above, pick your favorite and make time to get outside during the Christmas break to counteract all the sitting around and eating. Better yet, get the family involved and make physical activity part of the celebration. Sledding with the kids, or everyone going on a walk after dinner to check out Christmas lights, are just a couple of options to help you work off that honey-baked ham.
Practice Self Care. The holidays can be stressful, especially if you are hosting. Stress can lead to overeating, which can cause weight gain and a general sense of lethargy. So, take some deep breaths, install that meditation app, and try to find some time for yourself. Speaking of time for yourself, lack of sleep can also affect your weight. Sure, we all want to stay up and try to catch a glimpse of Santa, but too many late nights can lower your metabolism, make you too tired to exercise and increase your hunger hormones. Try your best to stick to your regular bedtime routine this holiday season and get plenty of rest. A good night’s sleep will also help combat your stress levels.
This holiday season, try your best to be mindful of what you’re eating and stop once you’re no longer hungry. Get your body moving and make it fun if you can. Celebrating with good food and good friends is one of the joys of Christmas and New Year’s. If you do over-indulge don’t stress about it — or worse yet — feel guilty. There’s no judgment harsher than the judgment you place on yourself, and that kind of self-deprecating is the exact opposite of the holiday spirit.
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