Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain – 6 Health Hacks

During the holidays we find ourselves caught up in the celebration and often we disconnect from any restraint when it comes to eating.  Yes, we all want to embrace the holiday and the gathering of friends and family but that does not mean we destroy our health at the same time.  The average person gains between 6 to 10 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Years Day.  Just in time here are some proven health hacks that can help us Avoid Holiday Weight Gain!

1. Engage Your Brain - My first tip in avoiding this average weight gain is to Engage Your Brain and eat thoughtfully.  It takes time for satiety to kick in so, we should eat slower and nibble along and savor the experience.  These simple actions will help us from overindulging, not only avoid stomachaches but those unwanted pounds.

2. Drink water!  During the holidays there are so many sweet liquid temptations that are just loaded with empty calories that will pack on the pounds.  We don't give any thought to those extra 500 or more calories we just enjoyed in that special holiday coffee.  In order to avoid this set as your goal to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day - leaving little room for those sugary liquid treats!  Bonus Tip:  if you are at a party make sure to start with a glass of water then your beverage of choice - alternate between the two and you not only avoid the extra calories but you will avoid being the main topic at the office the next day!
 
3. Eat Your Veggies and Fruits!  I know we have all heard this wise advice forever but it is so true.  Most holiday treats are loaded with calories, packed with sugar and not very healthy.  When I go out for a holiday party I will usually carry a fruit and veggie tray and when I arrive will snack there before heading to the sugary treads making sure to curb that appetite.  If you are looking for some other great recipes check these out - https://www.myhdiet.com/healthnews/rev-malkmus/our-favorite-holiday-treats/
 
4. Smaller Is Better!  I had some plates and cups from my grandparents and I was amazed at the size of the dinner plates they were so small! These small plates made our plates look like a platter.  When you look at pictures from 1960 back to the early 1900's you will rarely see a person overweight much less obese. Smaller plates and cups are critical to avoiding the overindulgence that often happens especially since so many holiday settings are set up as a buffet. Select a small plate and discipline yourself to only one plate and the result is decreased calories consumed and less food waste.

5. Pull Out Your Scales - Keep a close eye on your weight during the holidays and step on your scales daily or 3 or 4 times per week.  Weight changes in small increments and if you keep a close eye on the changes you can adjust your activity levels and calorie intake accordingly.  Another way of tracking this is to have a pair of pants that is the gold standard for your ideal waist size.  Keep them out and put them on every other day just to make sure they still fit comfortably!
 
6. Stay Active - Physical activity is critical during the holidays, you have to burn those extra calories.  I know we get so busy and time seems to slip away.  I encourage you to incorporate small 5 or 10 minutes chunks of time for exercise in your day.  In the morning while you are waiting for your coffee to heat up do some squats at the sink or some stretching.  Set a goal number of squats or push-ups to do each day.  Take the steps at work or park a little further from the entrance to the grocery store.  All these little things add up and keep your metabolism elevated!  You can do it!

To Your Health,

Mike Inabinett

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