Navigating the Holiday Season When You're Trying to Lose Weight

It’s that time of year again. Temptations are everywhere during the holiday season when you’re trying to lose weight: TV ads, window displays full of sweets, magazines with calorie-laden dessert recipes. 

You need a plan of action to get you through the holiday season when you’re trying to lose weight or simply maintain the weight you’ve lost. Dr. Jack Hensel Jr. with Lowcountry Plastic Surgery Center in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, can help you reset your metabolism to increase your weight loss. He also offers a suite of body-contouring services from which to choose. Body contouring helps you attain the curves you want and helps eliminate the trouble spots.  

How can you navigate the holiday season when you’re trying to lose, or at least not gain, weight? Following are research-based strategies. 

Eat breakfast 

Studies show that eating breakfast is a sound strategy when you’re trying not to gain weight. Ditch the sweet cereals, though. Start the day with protein: breakfast meat, chicken, salmon, or delicious eggs with your choice of add-ons can help keep you from binging later in the day. 

Eat s-l-o-w-l-y and mindfully

When you can, practice mindful eating at holiday festivities. You know the strategies: If possible, find a place to sit down, chew slowly, and enjoy the flavors of what you’re eating. It’s not always easy to do if you’re in a noisy, crowded room. 

If the event is billed as heavy hors d'oeuvres, and appetizers keep coming, start counting. Limit yourself to a preset number. Don’t reach for an appetizer every time the tray comes your way. Focus on engaging in conversation; you might make a new friend. 

Eat protein first 

If the event is a buffet, put protein and veggies on your plate; skip the bread and ignore the desserts. If you do well on a low-carb plan, take a few pieces of cheese and a few nuts. Cheese is great by itself; you don’t need a dry cracker anyway. These choices help fill you up. 

If the event is at night, have a healthy snack before you go. Make a pact that where buffets are concerned, you limit yourself to one turn at the table. 

Portion control

You know the drill: portion control. Having a healthy snack before a festive holiday event is a good way to help you avoid piling food into a temple on your plate. 

Choose your sweet 

Holiday events often have dessert-laden tables: cakes, pies, cannolis, cream puffs, brownies, you name it. If brownies are your favorite, have one and choose to stand or sit on the other side of the room from the dessert. Choose one sweet that’s your favorite. That way, you’re not deprived, but you’re not gorging on empty calories that make your blood sugar spike. 

If desserts are available in small, bite sizes, select two or three pieces of what makes your palate happy and move away from the table. 

Limit alcohol

Two reasons to curb alcohol consumption: extra calories and loosening  inhibitions. If you’re a little ditsy, it’s easy to cave to cravings and gorge on empty calories.  

Exercise 

It’s more important now than ever to keep moving. Strive for 10,000 steps a day. Does your family sit around and watch TV after dinner? How about starting a new tradition with an after-dinner walk? If it’s too dark, try a late afternoon walk before dinner. 

Exercise makes you feel good and can help curb your appetite. Your body produces fewer of the hormones that drive appetite after you exercise. Plus, scientists have proved that when your body temperature heats up, your appetite decreases. No wonder researchers say that exercise is good for you. 

Plan activities that don’t revolve around food

If food is on the agenda when you’re with family or friends, ask for or bring lighter-calorie items so you can munch, but on healthy snacks instead of belt busters. If the weather cooperates, go outside and throw a ball to your nephew or niece to catch. Practice learning that you can have a fulfilling time without filling up on food. 

Call Lowcountry Plastic Surgery Center or book an appointment through our online portal today to see what our weight-loss plans and/or body contouring can do for you. 

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