Surviving Holiday Weight Gain

I am starting to hear and see commercials offering help to manage weight, pounds, inches, and fat that we seem to gain around holiday time.  For sure there is an abundance of good (fattening) food everywhere we look.  From parties to home gatherings and eating out, we are constantly challenged to make choices that we won’t pay for later.

For some of us, the holidays come at a time when we also experience a change in the weather:  it gets colder!  Traditionally, our appetites increase as temperatures decrease.  We also tend to crave food that is associated with keeping us warm – usually food that is high in fat.  I am not saying that we can’t eat anything ‘good’!!  It just needs to be balanced and the sugary or fatty foods kept to a minimum while still enjoying holiday foods.

Here is what we know:  if we eat more calories, and can not burn enough of them, we will gain fat.  It is a tough thought to process, but it is true.  The food is just so tempting, delicious looking, smells good, we want to be social, etc., etc., etc.  It will still taste delicious if we eat a small amount of it.. works to eat slowly and savor every bite!

If we do ‘pig out’ and consume an excess of calories, and unless we can get our metabolism up super high, or consistently burn those extra calories every single day, we are going to gain holiday weight.

The good news is that we have alternative choices that are healthier and more slimming, and can be used in combination with enjoying small amounts of the not-so-healthy foods.  If we make weight management a part of our daily lives, we don’t have to ‘be on diets’.  Eating smarter, exercising regularly, and drinking lots of pure, clean water can help us maintain a weight that is right for us.

One way to reduce the number of calories that you will consume in a day is to choose a low calorie breakfast that is a low glycemic choice.  What this will do is help balance your blood sugar levels so that you don’t feel hungry until lunch.  This avoids eating something full of sugar or high in fat in the middle of the morning.  It also helps to set your blood sugar levels for the whole day when you make good choices first thing in the morning.

My breakfast of choice is a soy protein shake.  It is an excellent source of nutrition and helps our bodies in so many ways including:  frequent fatigue, mood swings, irritability, weakness in general, frequent colds, flus or infections, slow wound healing, menopausal symptoms, high cholesterol levels, cancer, emotional on empty stomach, shakiness, headaches relieved by sweets, faintness, lack of concentration, vegetarian diet.

For me, the difference I feel when I drink my soy shake is reason enough to choose it as my daily breakfast.  I believe it helps my body be healthy, but it also makes me feel good, balanced, and in control of my day.   When I need (or want) an alternative to my shake, I have used high protien meal bars that give me the same effect.

After breakfast, lean fats and good carbs are desired to maintain a healthy diet.  Sugary drinks have hidden calories and should be kept at a minimum or eliminated altogether.  Diets higher in vegetables, whole grains, and fruit, and low in fatty foods will produce the results that we desire.   When attending holiday get-togethers, look for fresh fruit or vegetables, go ahead and indulge in a little dip that might accompany them, have a treat or two.. just don’t over-eat.  These are choices that we all have, and it is up to us as individuals – around the holidays and all year long – to decide what we want our results to be and to act in accordance of those decisions.

Fiber is another nutrition source that is often lacking in people’s diets.  The recommended daily intake of fiber is much higher than most people actually get every day.  Not only does fiber help improve our digestion and keep us regular, it is very healthy for our colons and for absorbing fat in our bodies.  If you can’t get enough fiber in your daily diet, you can find it inside soy meal shakes, and in supplement form as either tablets or powder.

I hope that you can stay on track through the holidays and make good decisions that will give the outcomes that you want in terms of maintaining a healthy weight for you.

p.s.  see the post under this for more information.

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