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I saw a headline recently which said the average person gains 13 lbs over the holidays. Kind of disturbing when you think about and not really surprising when you look around at the Christmas cookies, Thanksgiving stuffing and pies, candy and chocolate, big family dinners…. But does it have to be this way? Is it possible to celebrate with family and friends and not gain weight? I say a resounding yes. We can enjoy our holiday celebrations throughout November and December and not gain weight.
Be deliberate in what you eat.
Think about things before you go to a party or a dinner. It is always wise to go to any kind of celebration or party with a plan. If you can find out a bit beforehand from the hostess, you may be able to figure out ahead of time what you can and should eat at a big dinner. You can also offer to bring a low carb dessert or side dish that you know will not be a problem for you to eat. Many party buffets have high fat appetizers which are also naturally low carb, like spinach dip or ranch dip with vegetables. And many times buffets are pot luck and the hostess asks people to contribute favorite foods, so carefully choose something that will be good for you to eat and that you know will satisfy.
Practice intermittent fasting.
I have been practicing intermittent fasting since the middle of 2016 and it has become a very sustainable habit in my life. I pick several days each week that I don’t eat for 18-24 hours, only drinking lots of water. Combined with a lower carb and high fat diet, it has not been very difficult to sustain and pull off each week, and it has kept me from gaining any weight since my 40 weight loss in 2016. It works especially well through the holidays, because unless you are highly disciplined you will eat more than you should several times at least in the 6 week holiday period from Thanksgiving through New Years. I have a 30 day free intermittent challenge that starts up next in early January (but I run them 5 x/year). Sign up if you would like to learn more.
Learn to eat more slowly and mindfully.
Many people do not really take time to enjoy the food they eat. If you eat more mindfully, you will really notice what you are eating and will be more satisfied. Eating mindfully means slowing down, sitting down to eat (rather than standing), and chewing more. Chewing is important because a longer time breaking up the food in your mouth releases more saliva and results in a better digestion.
Stay away from the buffet table at a party.
Buffet tables can be particularly dangerous at a party, because there is usually a large abundance of food, much of which is not helpful to you to eat. My recommendation is that you go through the line once and get the healthiest foods you can, high fat foods that satisfy and vegetables. Then plant yourself far away from the table with a nice plate of food and eat slowly. Find folks to visit with and do not go back to the table. If you visit close to it, you will eat more and most likely not mindfully, so will not even enjoy it all that much.
Do you have any suggestions to add to this list? Please comment below and share this post with others who want to get through the holidays without weight gain.