The holiday season is officially upon us. This is not the time of year to be depriving yourself of holiday treats and cocktails, for they seem to be everywhere. The key is to avoid over-indulging. The average person gains around 5 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. Don’t be the average person…
Yes there are lots of parties, lots of food and lots of drink. Knowing how to navigate your eating around all these events is the trick.
First off, no dieting. Being on and off a diet is terrible for your metabolism and makes it even harder for you to lose weight in the future. Healthy eating is the goal. By eating healthy most days, it balances out the occasional hi-fat, hi-sugar, no-nutritive-value treat - emphasis on the word occasional. It’s what we do on a daily basis that makes the most difference. For example, lots of coworkers like to bring cookies, festive cakes and other sweets to the office for all to share. If you’re nibbling on a couple of cookies one day, some cake the next day, some chocolate the next day, etc, it will all add up to make a difference on the scale. It may seem harmless at the time - “its just a couple of cookies, how bad can they be?” - but a little bit each day adds up to a substantial amount at the end of the week.
Alternatively, if you’ve stayed away from sweets for the most part all week, it’s ok to have a dessert that you like at that party on the weekend. It’s all about balance. Think about what you’ve eaten the past few days, then consider what is coming up in the next few days. Then decide whether or not to eat what you’re tempted by. That’s making a mindful choice.
As far as cocktails go, alcohol can make a big difference in weight. Just slow down the rate at which you’re drinking so that you will drink less during the course of the event. Try drinking a glass of water in between each drink as well. This will give your body the hydration it needs, as well as help decrease the total amount of alcohol you consume.
As always, continue to exercise throughout the season. This will help control your weight and will also help your mental health during this very busy time.
So eat, drink and be merry - in a controlled fashion.
Happy & Healthy Holidays to you all.
Linda Nikolakopoulos MS,RD,LDN,CDE
Latitude Sports Club Peabody Dietitian/Nutritionist