Holiday Feasting Survival Guide

5 Practical Tips for Warding Off Weight Gain

We’ve all been through the holidays enough times to know every tip about preventing extra pounds during the season. Even so, it never seems to get easier. Our calendars are crammed with events that center around eating and drinking, and the treats are more tempting this time of year than any other. So here are five tips that will help you stay on track through the holidays—and throughout the year.

1 Dress for Success

Get decked out for every gathering you attend this season. When you put on something special, you’ll look great, feel great, and all the compliments from your friends and family will be more satisfying than those waist-expanding holiday cookies on the buffet table.

2 Keep it Real

Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean all your healthy eating habits have to vanish into thin air. Keep eating your regular, “real” healthy diet – it’ll keep your digestive and immune systems humming.

And don’t skip meals on the day of an event – you might think you’re banking up calories for the party, but chances are you’ll be so hungry that you’ll overindulge once you get there. But if you do end up overindulging one day, just get back on track the next.

3 Plan and Scan

Start planning your holiday eating behavior long before you get to the event. Is it a buffet? A formal dinner? A cocktail party? What seasonal treats are you excited about? Which ones can you live without? Give yourself permission to enjoy your favorites; plan to pass on those that aren’t so special.

Once you arrive, postpone your cocktail – instead, start with a sparkling water to keep your appetite in check. Survey the food scene - saunter past the buffet or snack table and create your strategy; if servers are passing hors d’oeuvres, see what they have to offer before you accept anything. And if it’s a sit-down dinner, just remember that you don’t have to eat everything on your plate to be considered a good guest.

4 Think While You Drink

Holiday punch, rum toddies, wassail, and egg nog are fun and festive, but sometimes too much of a good thing is just too much. Holiday drinks can be sugary, full of empty calories, and have a high alcohol content – which can turn you into a dangerous driver when you leave. But you can cut your liquid calories in half simply by alternating each drink with water or seltzer. Not only will it keep your calorie count in line; it’ll probably keep you (and drivers around you) safe on your way home.

5 Take it Easy

Here’s a holiday mantra – Today is the first day of the rest of the holidays. For over a month you’re going to have ample opportunities to overindulge – you don’t have to do it all at once… and over and over again! This holiday season, when you find yourself going back for seconds, thirds, or even more, remind yourself that there will other dinners, desserts, cookies and cocktails. This is not your last meal of the season, nor is it your last meal. So don’t eat – or drink – like it!

You don’t need to deny yourself any of the pleasures of the season – just remember it’s not just about what you put in your mouth. This is the perfect time to enjoy friends and loved ones, to help those in need, to reflect on the year that will soon be past, and to prepare for another year of great health and well-being.

Get a jump on a healthy New Year by signing up for a free week at Welcyon! You’ll get a custom exercise program based on your goals and health, and three one-on-one training sessions on Welcyon’s safe, “smart” equipment. It’s a great way to experience the best health club for people over 50!

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