Saturday, November 23, 2013

3 Tips to Help You Avoid Weight Gain this Holiday Season

Eating well during the Holiday's is all about perspective. Our intentions are always good, but somehow we get derailed by the savory and sweet temptations of the season. This year let's start with a healthy perspective and set some realistic expectation for ourselves. Below you'll find 3 Holiday Weight Gain Traps and tips on how to avoid them!

1. "I'm saving room for dessert." This kind of thinking can lead to eating too little nourishing real food (think turkey, green beans, potatoes, salad etc), then when dessert time comes we eat way more sweets than we had planned on. Instead Try: "This year I'm going to eat real food until I feel satisfied; if I want dessert after I'll have some, but if I'm full from my meal that's ok."

2. "I'm going to go run 5 miles so I can EAT tonight!" Exercising to eat almost always leads to weight gain. When we exercise to eat we set ourselves up to have the thought process of, "I deserve fill in the blank, because I burned so many calories." The truth is most people who only exercise to eat actually end up eating far more calories than they burned which in the long run leads to weight gain. The Fix: Let's be clear, I'm not discouraging exercise, but I am encouraging exercising normally during the holidays. Heck, even do your 10k on Thanksgiving if that's your family tradition, just be aware of your post run munchies and don't let them ruin your good intentions.

3. "I don't have time to sleep during the holidays." Sleep is essential to a healthy weight and body composition. Without sleep your body is like a car that has run out of gas on the side of the road. You're not going anywhere and your body will not treat you well until it gets what it needs! Try these tricks: No TV during the holiday season, buy a sleep mask to block out the light of the harvest moon, go to bed when it's dark, avoid sugar before bed, and/or takes cat naps. Do whatever it takes to get some shut eye!

Most of all I hope you enjoy this holiday season with your loved ones and don't feel guilty for having something special eat every now and then. Just keep your long term goals in mind and practice having good portion control on those sweet treats! Maybe even give this Green Bean Casserole dish a try, it's a new favorite!

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