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Tempting foods, dinners with friends, parties, stress, and endless shopping, how are you supposed to stick to your diet with all this going on?

1. Exercise a bit more before Christmas Eve or a planned dinner. You can simply bump up the volume a bit in the days before a specific event where you know there will be more food. Even a heavy workout session on the day of the party or a family dinner can be beneficial.

2. If you are baking and it’s possible, halve the amount of sugar suggested in your recipes or replace sugar with a healthier option like Stevia.

3. Try not to skip meals in anticipation of having a large meal – this can lead to you eating too much. If you too hungry by the time you start eating, self-control can go out of the window. Instead, have a high-protein snack before the party or dinner. Some lean protein (e.g. fish, or chicken or turkey without the skin), veg and fruit about 30 minutes before will give you a feeling of fullness and help to limit overconsumption. This means that when you arrive at the party, you can pick and choose wisely without being driven by hunger.

4. When it comes to alcohol avoid cocktails and liqueurs which are usually sugar laden. Have a glass of wine but then instead of more, try a glass of club soda with lime. The hosts won’t ask if you need a drink (you’ll have one) and it will be harder for you to eat more with only one hand free.

5. Do your best not to gobble your food! We all know we should eat slowly and chew our food carefully, so why forget to during the Christmas? Take your time and focus on enjoying every bite instead of wolfing down your food. People who chew their food properly and sip water consume nearly 100 fewer calories per meal!

6. Clean after your guests or sing – Did you know that 30 minutes of cleaning burns 135 calories? On average, singing burns around 4 calories per minute which means if you sing a 3 minute song from beginning to end you’ll burn around 12 calories. Count that and you’ll burn 100 calories with 8 songs!

7. When it comes to dessert, be very selective. Choose lower calorie fruits and vegetables when available. If many desserts are available, take a favorite dessert or smaller portions of a few different dessert options. Leave the dessert options you probably wouldn’t like as much.

8. Finally, try to continue with your exercises or swap them for another type of activity. Take a long walk after each meal and make time in your schedule to exercise. It’s easy to just let go and count on exercising it away after returning from holiday leave, but stay focused, you can enjoy the holidays at no cost to your health.

Share these tips with your friends, watch what (and how) you’re eating, put the emphasis on people you meet and not food, and enjoy!

Image: http://thedailycougar.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/holidayweightgain.jpg

With Lifesum, tracking your healthy habits (and the not so healthy ones) becomes a breeze. We’ll help you pick the right food, and eat the right portion sizes, to reach your personal health goals.

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