Who doesn’t love to eat on the holidays? From Thanksgiving to Christmas to the winter vacation days, there’s no better time of year to eat! Sadly, a HUGE problem so many of us have is the tendency to gain weight over the holidays, so it’s important that we make it a point to avoid holiday weight gain as much as possible. Here are some smart ways you can do so:
Start the Day With a Healthy Breakfast
Resist the urge to start your morning with a hearty bacon and egg scramble, but go for something a bit lower in fat and calories. You’ll no doubt eat a lot more later in the day, so having a healthy breakfast first thing in the morning will help you start off on the right foot. Stick with oatmeal, fruit, yoghurt, milk, and other natural, fiber-rich foods. A bit of fat in the morning can help to prevent hunger pangs later in the day, but too much won’t be good for you!
Pre-prepare Healthy Meals
Instead of obsessing over what you can and can’t eat throughout your holiday, just set aside pre-prepared meals. Either measure out portions of protein (chicken, fish, beef, eggs, etc.) and cook them as meal time rolls around, or else cook up those meals ahead of time and freeze them. All you’ll need to do is pull your meals out of the freezer and spend a few moments cooking before you can sit down and eat. Best of all, it takes the guilt and confusion out of holiday eating.
Many people have their biggest meal of the day at dinner time, and it’s hard to avoid eating a lot at Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners. However, for the rest of your holiday, have your largest meal of the day either at breakfast or lunch–depending on when you fit in your workout. Make your dinner a smaller meal by filling up on calories earlier on in the day, and you’ll find your body will be less likely to store fat at night.
Be Smart with Snacks
Snacking is a very common occurrence over the holidays, as there’s so much chocolate and candy floating around that you often can’t help yourself. While it’s going to be impossible to avoid all of the goodies you encounter, try to snack smart! Always opt for dark chocolate whenever possible, or eat the nutty treats instead of the baked goods. If you have a healthy, low calorie snack of fruit or veggies, go for that. The healthier you snack, the less likely you’ll be to gain weight.
There’s no way to avoid eating a lot at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, and you may find yourself invited to more than just one holiday feast. If you tend to overeat at these meals, don’t worry about it! Just make sure not to repeat the action the next day, and cut back on what you eating the day after your huge meals. Focus on high-fiber, low-calorie foods, and enjoy a raw day, a juice cleanse, or even a day of fasting.
Don’t Let Your Workout Slide
It may be hard to drag yourself out of bed and to the gym every morning of your holidays, but it’s worth it! You can try to go a bit later in the day, but what really matters is that you actually go. Only by getting to the gym and working hard will you be able to slow the holiday weight gain that is so common during the Christmas and winter holidays. It’s a challenge, but it’s one you’ll need to power through!