Holiday Weight Loss, Part 3
Holiday Weight Loss
Welcome back to our series on holiday weight loss. It’s party time!
Today we’ll discuss how to navigate your holiday social calendar like a lean, mean, fat-burning machine.
Part Three: How To Navigate Holiday Parties
Recall that weight gain/loss is determined by energy balance, or how many calories you eat versus how many you expend throughout the day. Recall, too, that you should be proactively tracking your calories with an app like Lose It to make sure you eat at or below your weight maintenance calorie needs.
Enter the holiday party. It’s a minefield of tempting cookies, cakes, and tasty alcoholic brews. Waistline beware, right?
You better believe that an un-checked night around the cookie tray will lead to holiday weight gain. But with these tips and tricks, you’ll navigate the buffet without gaining a pound.
- Plan ahead for indulgences. This goes back to the previous post, where we talked about being proactive. If you know you have a holiday party in the evening, dial back your portion sizes at breakfast and lunch to “save up” for treats later in the day.
- Eat a small meal of protein and veggies before the party. Most party spreads are sparse on proteins like meat, fish, and eggs. Eating a small portion of protein before heading out will fill you up because protein is satiating, meaning you’ll be less ravenous and better able to say “no” to that extra helping of cookies or pie. Veggies also help fill you up with high fiber content and contain few calories so you can focus your calorie budget on more fun foods.
- If you can’t eat before the party, sip a protein shake. Again, protein tends to be lacking at holiday parties, and this will satiate you before facing the holiday buffet. In fact, studies show that drinking a protein shake before a meal helps cut down on calorie consumption.
- Set a drink limit for yourself. One or two beverages are enough to loosen up and have fun without annihilating your calorie budget. Stick to liquor and low-cal mixers and avoid calorie bombs like eggnog. For each alcoholic beverage you consume, drink a glass of water. This does two things: slows your pace of drinking, and helps fill you up. Ok, three things – you’ll stay hydrated and avoid a hangover.
- Practice moderation. Don’t be afraid of the cookie tray! If you like certain treats, enjoy them. But don’t eat ten mediocre cookies just because “F*** it, it’s the holidays.” That mentality will lead to self-sabotage and weight gain.
Stay tuned for the final post in this series, where we’ll attack the other side of the calories in/out equation – how to boost your activity level this holiday season to avoid gaining weight. Part 4 >>>