The holidays are in full force. We’re smack dab in the middle of the hardest time of year to make healthy choices. Halloween just passed, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Christmas and New Year’s will be here before you know it. So…it’s basically a food fest from now until the end of the year. With work parties, family dinners, and frequent gatherings, it’s definitely the season to indulge!
While it’s commonly assumed that the typical person gains 5–10 pounds from November to January, you might be surprised to learn that the average American only gains about 1 pound during the holiday season. One pound might seem like nothing. You might think that’s easy weight to drop come January. The problem is, most individuals don’t lose that pound. Over time, 1 pound turns into 5, then 10, 20, and suddenly, you’re wondering how it happened.
Now, whether you’re a person who stresses about gaining weight during the holidays, or you’re the type that would rather just worry about it in January, there are ways to enjoy yourself without dieting or overdoing it, and still maintaining your weight!
1. Don’t overeat.
Easier said than done, right? If you want to eat until you feel sick on Thanksgiving Day, go for it. But try to keep that kind of overindulging to a minimum. Listen to your stomach and eat until you feel satisfied.
2. Continue working out.
Naturally, it’s more difficult to stay motivated to work out in the winter. The days are short and cold, and I think most of us would rather be bundled up by the fire drinking hot cocoa. But do your best to stick to a regular workout routine—even if it’s just 15 minutes to get your heart rate up! This is when an iFit membership really comes in handy. Some fun programs we like to do during the winter are the Costa Rica Fast & Fit Series with John Peel, the Hawaiian Islands Cross-Training Series with Kirsty Godso, and the French Polynesia Beach Bootcamp Series with Elyse Miller.
3. Exercise portion control.
If you’re not sure about portion sizes, use your hands as a guide. It can quickly help you determine how much is appropriate. If all else fails, use your best judgement and remember the more veggies, the better! Also, using a smaller plate is helpful, as there’s less space to fill up with too much food.
4. Eat healthy most of the time.
Save your indulgences for special days or planned events. On all the other days, stick to healthy meals and doing something active. A good rule of thumb from our resident dietitian, Megan Ostler, is 80% of the time, eat healthy and 20% of the time, indulge.
5. Enjoy yourself.
Live it up! It’s the greatest time of year for so many reasons. If you’re out to eat with your family or savoring Christmas dinner, enjoy it. Don’t feel like you have to give up your favorite treats or say no to Aunt Lisa’s famous pumpkin pie. Let your taste buds celebrate every bite, but be mindful of when you’ve had enough.
Remember, this shouldn’t add more stress. Just do your best to eat well, stay active, and enjoy the season!