Christmas can be jolly and joyful, or full of terrible temptation if you are watching your weight. Here are some top tips for staying slim this season.
The holidays are nearly here and with them a mountain of tempting foods and drinks that seem to be dangled in front of us non-stop from Thanksgiving straight until New Year’s Day. We always make the resolution to do better as soon as January arrives, but we are sabotaging ourselves from the start if you eat whatever you like for months and then suddenly try to be good.
If you want to get a head start on better health this year, here are a few suggestions to help you stay slim at the holidays.
Just Say No
The pressure to eat, drink and the party can be enormous, so practice saying no. This is not being rude, it is being assertive to protect yourself and filter out what you do need from what you don’t need. If someone really presses you to ‘eat-up’, then tell them no thanks, you are allergic. People will accept that excuse more readily than you exerting willpower.
Watch What You Drink
Most people are aware of the empty calories of alcoholic drinks, but might not think too much about fruit juices, eggnog, hot chocolate with whipped cream, or fancy seasonal drinks from your local coffee place or donut store. Then there are the fancy coffee beverages with the long names you might treat yourself to now that the weather is getting colder. You might even get a great gift card for one of these places as a present from family and friends.
But before you reach for any drink this holiday season, stop and think. Some of these beverages can have more saturated fat and calories in a single cup than an entire burger meal at a fast-food restaurant, complete with French fries. Eggnog packs a whopping 400 calories or more per glass. Hot apple cider can be loaded with sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Packaged hot chocolate drinks are full of sugar and often salt too. Too much sodium in the diet from bottled vegetable juices and tomato juice will make you gain a lot of water weight and feel bloated and puffy.
If you do want to indulge in any of these beverages, make them at home so that you know exactly what is going in them. Use seltzer water (Check History of Seltzer here) skim milk, real cocoa, and your own seasonings. Juice your own fruits and vegetables to get all of the nutrition from them, without all the additives, preservatives, and other unnecessary ingredients.
This holiday season, take charge of your health and what you eat and drink so that you don’t need to suffer a diet disaster.
Avoid People Who Sabotage You
Some of your friends and family can be very well-meaning but sabotage you all the same. If your spouse is cooking huge meals or ordering take out all the time because you are both so busy, this needs to stop. If your friends love to go out for drinks a couple of nights a week, think about all the wasted calories you are imbibing. It will only get worse around the holidays, as people seem to feel that no holiday is complete without big meals and alcohol. The alcohol in particular seems essential for Christmas and especially New Year’s. To break this cycle and stay slim, think of other ways to celebrate, and perhaps spend time alone, or with a different crowd.