The holiday season is here!
It’s a busy time of year- from family gatherings to workplace celebrations and more, it can be a challenging time to keep up with healthy habits.
Did you know: The average American gains between 2-4 lbs between Halloween and January 1st? But don’t fret: CHARGE is here with strategies to help keep your habits and motivation going during the holiday season and into the new year.
There are so many social events and food-centric environments that can pop up over the next couple months. Planning and maintaining your usual habits is the biggest tool you have to combat excessive eating.
Keep up your workouts! You know that feeling when you’ve finished a run or a gym session and you feel empowered, strong, and motivated? Let’s keep that energy going throughout the upcoming weeks!
If you’re not able to get in your usual workout, involve the family or your friends in some activity they can all join! Go for a 30 minute walk after dinner, play football outside, or even feed that competitive spirit with a plank-off in the living room.
Be prepared- continue to bring a nutritious lunch to work and have healthy snacks on hand for those times you may be hungry and there’s a giant plate of cookies in the break room.
Before going to a party or gathering, make sure you have your usual breakfast, lunch and snacks. Showing up super hungry can lead to overeating- and nobody likes that *ugh, too full!* feeling afterwards.
Mind your Martinis
One of the primary contributors to excess calories over the holidays is alcohol. Not only does alcohol factor into weight gain; but it is also dehydrating you in the process!
Do you know what a serving size is?
12 ounces of regular beer is about 150-200 calories
5 ounces of red or white wine is 120 calories
1.5 ounces of hard liquor is 100 calories (more if it’s flavored or creamy!)
And if you’re having a mixed drink…
Combining with cranberry juice, soda, tonic water, and other sweetened mixers can contribute a lot of added sugars and double or triple the calories in your cocktail.
Try seltzer or club soda as a mixer to cut the added sugars, and add a squeeze of lemon or lime for flavor.
A good strategy to keeping the alcohol intake down is to space out your drinks by alternating with some water, seltzer, tea, or other calorie-free beverages.
Adding in some of the above will also help rehydrate you and keep you satisfied!
Holiday desserts are a favorite… from cookies to pies, gingerbread to brownies. They show up at family gatherings, friendly celebrations, and often times in the office! Here are some ways to enjoy your favorite treats, while also keeping with your health and wellness goals:
Enjoy each bite as if it’s the last
We often eat delicious foods very quickly without truly savoring them. Try to take smaller bites and really pay attention to the flavor and enjoyment of it.
Think about the taste, texture, and mouthfeel and see if there’s a point where you are not getting as much satisfaction from it as you did the first bite. If so, stop!
Lighten up the baked goods
Try using ground flax seed instead of eggs; applesauce to replace some oil or butter, or even evaporated skim milk instead of heavy cream or whole milk.
Try something new!
Swap out a typical treat for one that’s got different ingredients and textures that can even boost the nutritional value of the dessert.
Post written by Becca Scofield, MS, RD, LDN
This information is intended for general advice and may not be applicable to everyone. Please speak to your on-site Registered Dietitian if you have specific questions or to find out what is best for your individual needs.