Check out these tips to make sure you ring in the new year as your slimmest self.
1. Set realistic goals
If you think that sounds like the easy way out, consider that adults generally gain between 1 and 5 pounds during the holidays, according to Live Strong. You may think that’s nothing to be concerned about, but such pounds are usually difficult to lose and may account for that creeping annual weight gain.
2. Don’t starve
It’s easy to believe that if you skip breakfast and other meals to save up for a holiday treat, you won’t gain weight. I did that, too, and it didn’t work. The problem was that by the time treat time rolled around, I was ravenous. The experts at University of California, Davis suggest you eat healthy regular meals – think wheat toast and fruit for breakfast – so you eat reasonable portions later.
3. Stand by the vegetable tray
One holiday I was tempted to eat the buttery cookies, milk chocolate candy and bacon-wrapped pretzel sticks that the host had out for guests to munch as they chatted. As basic as it sounds, I stood right next to the tray of raw vegetables and ate broccoli, cherry tomatoes and other healthy veggies as I talked with others. To grab cookies or other high calorie foods, I would have had to leave my friends and make my way across a crowded room. Every time I was tempted, I ate more veggies.
4. Don’t go all out
Enjoy holiday foods but keep moderation in mind. Choose turkey instead of ham, go easy on the butter, and choose low-fat eggnog. Also, don’t skip the salad (though you may want to skip the dressing), vegetables and fruits. They really do fill you up.
5. Be a food snob
We often fill our plates with food out of habit, and that shows on the scale. When I started to lose weight, I became incredibly picky about the foods I ate. When you carefully choose the foods you really enjoy and then eat them slowly and mindfully, you’ll be satisfied and slim, recommended WebMD. By the way, if you don’t like something on your plate, don’t eat it. Period.
6. Beware the fill-your-glass host
I recently went to a party and didn’t fully realize the host kept refilling my glass, adding extra, unneeded calories to my evening meal. One way to avoid this dilemma is to start your evening with a glass of seltzer (make sure it’s not high calorie tonic!) that contains a slice of lemon, recommended Readers’ Digest. The water fills you up, and the lemon adds a burst of what they call a “fat releasing nutrient” – and flavor. This holiday season, I’ll have a glass of seltzer with lemon between each glass of wine.
7. Choose to be last in line
You know how fresh and yummy untouched food looks? Food doesn’t look quite as appealing after a few people have taken helpings, reminded experts at Cleveland Clinic. Try to serve yourself last, and you may find food is a bit less appealing.
8. Keep exercise in perspective
The experts at UC Davis and elsewhere remind everyone to stay active and exercise regularly. That’s great advice. The problem I found is that I’d work out vigorously – even when I was very tired — and then reward myself with food. That meant I ate back all the calories I burned off during exercise. Moderation is key for workouts and food.