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How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Holiday meal managed!

How to avoid holiday weight gain . . . and still have fun!

With Thanksgiving around the corner it is officially the beginning of the holiday season. Although this is the time of the year that people enjoy most by spending invaluable time with their loved ones, it is also the time of year that is associated with weight gain. This is due to the combination of comfort food, being with loved ones and being away from one’s normal routine.

Today’s post will give you some tips on how to enjoy yourself while avoiding unnecessary weight gain during the holidays.

1. Start the day with exercise.
Starting the day off with physical activity will set the tone of the rest of the day. This will make sure you start your day with a healthy state of mind. Anything you can do to get your blood flowing is exercise. A 20-30 minute walk is exercise too! 

2. Focus on spending this precious time with your family
and loved ones as opposed to making the focus about food and meals.

3. Stick to your normal meal schedule.
If you have been reading my posts you know that having regular set meals daily (including mid-day snacks) with breaks in between allow us to control what and how much we eat. This also prevents us from grazing mindlessly all day long, which is a very common problem that people have, especially during the holidays.

3. Make sure you are not going to meals starving.
Going to meals starving leads to losing control and overeating. Put your level of hunger on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being absolutely ravenous and 10 being stuffed. By having a routine of regular meals with breaks in between you can stay at around 5 on the hunger scale. This level of hunger allows you to remain in control of how much and what you choose to eat.  This allows you to enjoy the delicious comfort food in moderation.

4. Stop when you’re full.
This is easier said than done, and using a simple technique can teach you how to recognise when you are full. Being mindful of your level of hunger, even during a meal, by using the hunger scale technique in (point 3) will help you become aware of feeling full preventing you from overeating. Remember that this is not your last meal, and as delicious as the festive food is, there will be something left over to have later.

5. Bring a delicious and healthy dish to share.
A wonderful way to eat well and encourage others around you to do the same is by preparing a healthy and balanced dish to bring with you to a meal. Make sure that the dish you prepare is nutritionally balanced by incorporating the food groups- lean proteins, complex starches and a variety of different vegetables. The more variety, the better. See some of my previous posts for recipes and inspiration.

Happy Holidays!