Sunday, November 18, 2012

22 Tips to Help NOT to Put On Extra Weight Over the Holidays

The holidays are here! I've always had mixed feelings because I LOVE the holidays but I would stress about gaining weight. It's not even necessarily food...it's the QUANTITY of food!
not gain weight holidays1 300x204 How NOT to Put On Extra Weight Over the Holidays: 22 Tips
No question about it, the holidays are amazing. The air is just filled with joy, anticipation, the twinkling of lights and the sounds of holiday music. And without noticing, we get into a Holiday mood, buying and wrapping gifts, spending more time with friends and focusing on the people that mean the most to us. My favorite thing in the world!

Usually in the four weeks from Thanksgiving to the New Year...I end up gaining a few lbs which I have to resolve to lose lol But over the last 2 years...I've done things differently. 
I know first hand how annoying and hard this is...which is why I'm sharing some tips!

Instead of kicking off the New Year with a resolution to lose weight (that's prob been on your list for awhile now right?) Why not make a PRE-RESOLUTION to stay fit and heart burn free this holiday?
So here are my 22 tips to help all of us have fun without the extra baggage!
And keep reading! I posted some awesome recipes at the bottom!

1. Have a smaller variety of food on the table.

The greater the number of dishes on the table, the more we and our guests will end up eating. The temptation to sample a little bit of everything is what makes us feel stuffed, sleepy and bloated before the dinner is over.
You can serve fewer dishes and still make your holiday dinner feel festive. A great way to do this is to put the same appetizers and snacks into 2-3 smaller bowls and set them on different sides of the table. If you have vegetarians for dinner you can also make similar salads in two versions: vegetarian and not.

2. Drink a glass of water 30 minutes before the meal

Whenever you are visiting your friends for dinner ask for a glass of water as soon as you arrive. It will help you to keep your body hydrated and eat less.

3. Bring healthy fare to parties and corporate events

If you are worried that there will not be many healthy food choices at a party, volunteer to bring it yourself. It is a great way to contribute to a dinner, while eating healthy.

4. Do not go to a dinner or a party hungry

If you know that you are going to be exposed to large quantities of food it does not mean that you skip lunch and have only a light breakfast. Feeling famished before a meal is what makes you eat more and a lot faster, not giving your body time to properly digest the food.

5. Practice mindful eating

Eat your food mindfully, paying attention to the flavors, textures, and your sensations  -  and there will be no need for any other healthy eating tips and tricks.

6. Comment on food while eating in company

This is a great way to stay focused on the food and win the chef’s favor.

7. Serve food Italian style

If you happen to have dinner in a typical Italian family, the thing that might surprise you the most is an empty table (with the exception of wine, water and some bread). Italians serve everything from appetizers to desserts on separate plates, instead of putting the serving dishes on the dinner table. After you are done eating your portion, you can always ask for a second helping, but unless it was not a culinary masterpiece, you will probably refrain from eating more.

8. Become a long-term planner

Do not follow the common rule “There is always room for dessert”. If you know that you want one, actually leave room for it, skipping the hors d’oeuvres or side dishes.

9. Wear snug-fitting clothes

It will make it less convenient to over-indulge on all the holiday food.

10. Follow the Three-Bite Rule when sampling dishes

Put just a little bit of food on your plate, even if it looks really appetizing. Studies show that after the third bite, our taste buds stop registering the flavors of the food as sharply, and unless the dish is absolutely delicious we will not want more of it.

11. Chat over a meal

Carrying on a conversation over a meal allows you to eat slower and gives your body more time to signal to your brain that you are full!!

12. Do not munch while watching TV

Studies show over 40 percent more food is eaten while watching TV. Besides, why spend your free time in front of the TV when there are so many fun outdoor activities winter season has to offer?

13. Do not nosh from a bowl

It is easy to lose track of how much you eat when you are continuously reaching into a bowl of chips or a bag of pretzels. To avoid eating too much put snacks like chips, nuts, olives, cheeses, and cold cuts on your plate or a napkin.

14. Drink a shot of espresso after dinner

While I personally do not drink coffee any longer, you might benefit from a cup of espresso after a hearty meal. Chlorogenic acids found in large quantities in coffee beans are known to aid digestion, slow glucose release into the blood stream, and help to reduce fat production. If just like me, you are not a big coffee fan, opt for a cup of green tea, as it too is known for its beneficial metabolic properties.

15. Put your fork down more often

Taking pauses in between mouthfuls allows you to eat slower and feel full without eating too much.

16. Add exercise whenever and wherever you can

If you ate too much at a party, try to go running, play tennis or do yoga the next morning. Help your body burn those extra calories you have gained the day before.

17. Limit alcohol

Alcohol, while strongly associated with celebrations has some serious downsides when it comes to weight loss. On one hand it increases our appetite, on the other hand – it reduces the body’s ability to burn fat. And there you have it – extra pounds around your abdomen area that will not melt away easily.

18. Do not eat what you do not want/like

When people like a dish they have made, they want to share it with others. What they are really seeking is not you eating a plateful, but you recognizing their efforts. If you do not like something, It is ok to say – “I’m not a big fan of sweet potatoes, but I will try some more of your delicious gravy”.

19. Bring mints or gum with you

Not only will it help to keep your breath fresh, it will signal to your brain that eating is over (kind of like brushing your teeth).

20. Take a dessert home

If you do not have room for dessert, do not eat it just because it looks good. Ask if you can take a piece home with you. It is guaranteed to make the hostess happy, and you will have a delicious breakfast for the next day.

21. Ask for cooperation

If you do not want your friends and family members talking you into eating “one more piece of chicken breast” or tasting the “still warm dinner rolls” tell them up front that you are trying to lose weight and ask for their help and cooperation.

22. Take an after-dinner walk

It is a pleasant way to burn some of the calories that you ate for dinner and admire streets and beautiful houses decorated with Christmas lights.

Do you usually put on weight over the holiday season?

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