Eating through the holidays to manage weight
During the holidays, we see an increase in weight gain. Anywhere from a 4-10 pound weight gain is the norm over the holiday season.
Over the 13 years of being a personal trainer in the weight loss and fitness industry I have seen the challenges clients face with the holidays. One of the best goals that we have our clients work towards during this time is to avoid gaining weight while still enjoying the holidays.
Here are four ways that we suggest our clients be successful for the holidays:
1. First and foremost enjoy the festivities, family and friends. Holidays are a time to celebrate spending time with friends and family. Enjoy that fact to the fullest extent. Don't skimp on this one.
2. Don't starve yourself before any big meals. Starving yourself all day long before these meals is a set up to struggle no matter what. Most people eat so much during these meals because they are starved by the time the meal comes. Be sure to eat regularly throughout the day instead of starving yourself. Rest assured, you will still thoroughly enjoy that holiday meal.
3. On your first plate at a big meal, fill your plate with lean proteins (turkey, ham, legumes, etc) and vegetables (steamed or raw are best). Since it's a special time with family and friends, I want you to have the option to go back for seconds. Choosing lean proteins and vegetables for your first plate will ensure you eat more healthfully overall, even when you put whatever you want on your second plate. Pay attention to how full you get when you do this. When your meal is done, take a moment to reflect. Did you enjoy your meal eating this way? Did you feel full faster than you expected to? Were you able to finish that second plate?
4. Enjoy that pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie is the healthiest pie you can find. This doesn't mean eat half of the pie, but a reasonable portion (even with some whipped cream on top!) is entirely allowed on this holiday. Enjoy!
How to handle the day after a big meal:
One thing a lot of people end up doing is getting on the scale the day after enjoying their holiday feast to look at the damage. My suggestion is don't do this. Wait for two or three days and make sure to drink plenty of water during that time. If you get on the scale the morning after, you will be retaining water weight from the meal and it'll show on the scale. There is no need to upset yourself over water weight.
After two or three days of drinking lots of water, get on the scale. This will give you a much better idea of the changes that have happened. These recommendations are what we have seen to be successful for our clients in the past.
Everyone has reported feeling in control of their choices while still fully enjoying their holiday celebrations. Aim to be proud of yourself if you made an effort to follow our suggestions. And as always, please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or would like some help with fitness and nutrition guidance.
Mike R. Thomas is the owner of My Path Wellness, 4103 S.E. International Way, Suite 303, Milwaukie.
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