Maintain, Don’t Gain this holiday season
December 12, 2022
With holiday time fast approaching, you don’t have to worry about losing weight, but instead focus on maintaining your current weight and not gaining pounds. With a few tools and tips offered by healthcare professionals at UHS, you can win the battle while fully enjoying the holiday season.
The average American gains between one and five pounds during the holidays. The extra weight can accumulate over time and make it more difficult to get back to a healthy weight.
So here are some healthful suggestions:
Stay active - It can be difficult to do so in the winter months, but you should aim for at least 30 minutes a day of exercise. Start small and build up your activity level. Consult a physician before starting a new exercise routine.
Add lots of color to your meals - Snacking on fruits and vegetables throughout the day will help you manage your weight. Eating a variety of fruits and veggies that are low in calories and loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber will help you satisfy your hunger and curb cravings for sweets. Try to fill half your plate each meal with fruits and vegetables.
Make easy swaps when thinking about holiday food - Try having roasted vegetables, such as butternut squash or sweet potatoes, instead of a dish like a green-bean casserole. For beverages, try sparkling water or seltzer instead of soda or wine.
Cut back on stress - Instead, choose activities that get you moving. Rather than hiking out to the kitchen for another snack, get outside for a quick walk. Dress for the weather.
Don’t skip meals before holiday parties - Skipping a meal can deprive your body of necessary energy to get through the day, so you may be more inclined to choose more carbohydrates and sugar products when it’s time to eat. Stick to your normal eating routine throughout the day and grab a light healthy snack, such as veggies and hummus or apples and peanut butter, before heading out to any parties.
Get enough sleep - If you’re going out and staying out later than usual to get to holiday festivities, chances are your sleep habits are being disrupted too. Lack of sleep makes your body crave more and higher-calorie foods. Aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
Eat guilt-free - It’s important to remember that if you do indulge during the holidays, don’t beat yourself up about it afterwards. It’s all about balance. Get back on track by incorporating a well-balanced meal and some light activity into your daily routine.
Set a goal and celebrate your successes - Making exercise and healthy eating a regular habit takes commitment. Set small goals and celebrate along the way as you reach your goals. Find someone to help hold you accountable and build a support system to help you on your health and wellness journey.
Once you’ve established healthy lifestyle habits around the holidays, keep them going as you enter the New Year! To learn more about UHS Nutrition Services, click here.