5 Tips for Weight Control During the Holidays


Oh my, the temptations we face during the holidays from food. They are everywhere: at parties and events, and even our own holiday table. Doesn’t it seem like all of these things push you into blowing the weight control part of your heart healthy program? Don’t despair.

You can still eat that decadent looking cupcake and keep up your weight control over the holidays. Here’s how.


Get on the Scale

Getting on the scale may not be your favorite thing to do. Who wants to see that they don’t weigh what they want to, right? I know I don’t always like what I see. But that doesn’t mean that you might as well just go and have 10 cupcakes or half a pie.

Your starting weight  is your reference point. It’s the number that you don’t want to stray too far from. Our weight can naturally fluctuate from day-to-day. Set a goal for yourself that you don’t want to go more than 1-2 pounds over your current weight during the holidays. It doesn’t mean that you definitely will gain weight. You are simply allowing yourself to enjoy special occasions while still maintaining weight control.

Drink Plenty of Water

During the holidays, it is so easy to increase the amounts of alcohol and various sugary drinks. The calories can definitely add up fast, and give very little of the heart healthy nutrition your body really wants. Yes, red wine has been found to have antioxidants that are good for your heart, when you drink it in moderation.

When you drink water, your body is getting the liquid it needs without adding extra ingredients that may affect your weight. I like to drink filtered water, and usually carry a bottle with me when I go out. That’s not to say that you can’t have a glass of cheer, or your favorite tea, coffee or soft drink. Making sure that you focus on getting in your water throughout the day can help you reduce the amount of liquid calories or nutrient poor beverages you do take in. Also, it may help you keep from overeating if you drink some water when you start to feel hungry.

Be Mindful of What You’re Eating

Yes, you can eat that cupcake, that 70% dark chocolate and have a glass of red wine! When you do have that cupcake, pie, macaroni and cheese or whatever that especially tempting food or drink is, have a small portion and really enjoy it. Count it in whatever food group it belongs,  according to your current diet plan. In this case, you might include the cakes and pies in the sweets or “limited extra” group, and the macaroni and cheese as a carbohydrate. Wherever your special delicacies belong, make sure you count them. Write it down. This will help keep you from going overboard.

Remember to consider your overall portions when you put food on your plate. If it seems like you have a million selections to choose from, pick the ones you want the most. If you fix your plate half full with fruit and vegetables, and you have many vegetable dishes to choose from, take smaller portions and fill half of your plate. You can do the same thing with your meat and carbohydrate portions. And please, don’t put a mountain of food on your plate, even if half of it will be your vegetables. You’ll defeat your purpose! Moderation is key. 😉

Keep Your Body Moving

Are you too busy to exercise? You can do 3 easy 10 minute exercise sessions in a day. For example, you can do 3 ten minute walks around the room. While you’re at it, listen to your favorite music and get the extra heart healthy benefit. Just set aside 10 or 15 minute blocks of time to get your body moving and keep those calories burning.

Write It All Down

Keep track of what you are doing. Whether you use a notebook or an app, it becomes your tool to stay in control of what you do during those seasons of abundant and tantalizing foods. Begin with your starting weight. Then write the number you don’t want to go above. Whatever you eat or drink during this period, record it and be sure to note which food group it is a part of. Don’t forget to include your exercise activity. Making these notes will give you a picture of what you are doing, and help you with the choices you make. You can also review your notes after the holidays, and see what worked for you so you can do more of it the next time 🙂

I’d love to hear what weight control tips work for you.
Let’s talk below.

All the Best,

PS: We can also talk on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter

Valerie B Bess is the author of Healthy Heart Start.

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