The holidays are a time for family, friends and of course, great food. According to recent studies, the average person can gain 1-2 pounds each holiday season. While it may not seem like much, keep in mind that older adults over the age of 60 were found to have a significant decrease in their metabolism rate, making seniors more susceptible to weight gain than their younger counterparts.
Between the myriad of family gatherings and holiday socials, it can be hard to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. However, by being proactive, you can enjoy all the decadence of the season without the guilt of overindulging.
Continue Your Fitness Regimen
You’ve worked hard all year to remain active. Don’t let the holiday season ruin your commitment to your physical health. If shopping and travel cause your schedule to become too hectic, incorporate the holidays into your fitness routine. Take a brisk walk through the neighborhood to see festive lights and decorations and consider finding a parking spot furthest away from the mall entrance when shopping in order to get in some extra daily steps. Be sure to use caution when walking through a parking lot after dark.
Give the Buffet a Second Look
It’s tempting to grab a plate and make our way down the buffet line but health experts advise against this approach. Instead, peruse the buffet station and consider which items you truly want to enjoy before filling your plate. By being selective and strategic about your choices, you’ll be able to make smarter food decisions.
Bring Your Own Healthy Dish to the Party
Unsure if there will be healthy food options at your next holiday party? Why not create a vegetable casserole or other low-calorie dish. You’ll be less tempted to indulge in foods that can wreak havoc on your waistline. Websites such as Pinterest can provide a wealth of delicious yet healthy recipes to win over party guests.
Drink in Moderation
Alcohol beverages are chock-full of calories that can easily contribute to unwanted weight gain. A pina colada for example, has a staggering 644 calories, more than a McDonald’s Big Mac. Despite studies showing that alcohol consumption offers a variety of health benefits, excessive drinking can cause weight gain, especially around the midriff. Nutritionists recommend getting your liquor on the rocks instead of opting for fruity cocktails with fattening syrups.
Keep Things in Perspective
You drank two glasses of egg nog and ate two macaroons…now what? The holidays are a time to indulge. Don’t beat yourself up for taking advantage of the season’s delicacies. The key is to eat in moderation. Try eating smaller portions or sharing a treat with a family member. You’ll be able to savor the taste and flavor of the holidays without the feelings of guilt.
December is synonymous with overindulgence which often leads to weight loss resolutions for the New Year. With a game plan for continuing a fit, healthy lifestyle and a commitment to making conscientious food choices, you’ll be able to beat the bulge and get a head start on becoming a healthier you in 2016!