Holiday parties are notorious for tempting guests with scrumptious sweets and savory delights, making it seem impossible to avoid seasonal weight gain. But if you’re prepared, you actually can successfully keep your weight in check. This year, stay on track by following these 9 holiday weight loss tips:
Tip #1: Eat before you party
It’s a common misconception that fasting all day to feast at night balances everything out. The only thing that “saving” your appetite accomplishes is increasing the likelihood of binging later on. So be sure to eat a healthy meal with lots of protein to keep you fuller longer. This will give you the best chance of nibbling responsibly later.
Tip #2: Use small plates
Thanks to psychology, we can trick our own brains into feeling fuller with less food by simply using smaller plates. Blank plate space is associated with less food, so filling up a small plate with portions that would seem lacking on a larger plate is all our minds need to believe we’ve had enough. So grab a salad or dessert plate at the buffet instead of the standard size dinner plate—and give thanks to the wonders of science while you’re at it.
Tip #3: Bring your own dish
If you’re attending a potluck-style event or dinner party, bring a healthy side dish you can indulge in guilt-free. Think vegetables and healthy grains, like a flavorful quinoa salad. Better yet, satisfy your sweet tooth with a tasty low calorie/low fat dessert recipe. Your fellow scale-watching partygoers will thank you.
Tip #4: Savor every bite
Sometimes staying away from fattening hors d’oeuvres and sugary desserts is impossible, but losing the battle over your willpower doesn’t have to ruin your night. Instead, pick a few forbidden items and chew them slowly, savoring every bite so you’re satisfied and not compelled to grab more.
Tip #5: Get sneaky with veggies
If you’re hosting a holiday meal, a diet-focused spread will almost guarantee you won’t be asked to host again. But there are ways to make traditional holiday foods healthier by sneaking in vegetables when you can. Pureed pumpkin or squash can be easily hidden in baked goods, and mashed cauliflower can replace much of the volume in casseroles or potato dishes. Plus, all those fiber-rich vegetables will help with portion control by making you feel fuller.
Tip #6: Bring on the healthy fats
Not all fat is created equal. A plate of veggies or rice chips dipped in guacamole isn’t the same as a handful of potato chips, so don’t be shy around the guacamole bowl or tray of mixed nuts. Also, combining fat with fiber boosts fiber’s ability to make you feel full, which will help keep you from overindulging.
Tip #7: Go easy on the booze
Not only are alcoholic drinks full of empty calories, but they can also negatively affect your willpower and your ability to make smart food choices. So limit wine, beer, and cocktails to no more than one per hour, if that. Abstaining entirely will help you say no, and mean it.
Tip #8: Chew minty gum
After you’ve successfully kept your temptation in check and consumed all you plan to consume, keep your motivation going by chewing minty gum. It’ll freshen your breath for hours of conversation and help you avoid ruining that minty-fresh feeling with more food. As a bonus, chewing sugar-free gum after eating is great for your teeth, as it stimulates saliva production, washing away food particles that would otherwise attract cavity-causing bacteria.
Tip #9: Ask for help
For the majority of us, losing weight is not easy. Losing weight during the holidays? Not quite impossible, but sometimes it sure feels like it. Having a medical professional to support you on your weight loss journey can make all the difference. Prescription appetite suppressants and the assistance of the prescribing professional may be just what you need to stay on track with your weight loss goals during the holiday season.
We’re here for you.
Imagine yourself on the other side of the holidays, looking and feeling better than ever. We can help you get there. At Viva Wellness, 90 percent of patients who participate in our weight loss programs lose weight. You can too! Give us a call to learn more or to schedule a consultation.