This year’s holiday challenge, “Maintain Don’t Gain” is about not gaining pesky holiday pounds and maintaining your overall health. Did you know the average American gains 1 to 2 pounds during the holiday season. Year after year, those pounds add up, leading to potentially being overweight later in life. Weigh-in at least once a week during the holidays to keep yourself on track. Try to prevent the number on the scale from going up!
If you are the one hosting and selecting the ingredients – you will be able to control the amount of calories added to the recipe. The following recipes will give you some inspiration for ways to incorporate healthy items into your holiday menu:
*Here are ten tips to help you during the holidays!
- Be realistic. Try to maintain your current weight.
- Plan time for exercise. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain. A moderate and daily increase in exercise can help partially offset increased holiday eating. Try 10- or 15-minute brisk walks twice a day.
- Don’t skip meals. Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack like raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to curb your appetite. You will be less tempted to over-indulge.
- Survey party buffets before filling your plate. Choose your favorite foods and skip your least favorite. Include vegetables and fruits to keep your plate balanced.
- Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. Savor your favorite holiday treats while eating small portions. Sit down, get comfortable, and enjoy.
- Be careful with beverages. Alcohol can lessen inhibitions and induce overeating; non-alcoholic beverages can be full of calories and sugar.
- If you overeat at one meal go light on the next. It takes 500 calories per day (or 3,500 calories per week) above your normal/maintenance consumption to gain one pound. It is impossible to gain weight from one piece of pie!
- Take the focus off food. Turn candy and cookie making time into non-edible projects like making wreaths, dough art decorations or a gingerbread house. Plan group activities with family and friends that aren’t all about food. Try serving a holiday meal to the community, playing games or going on a walking tour of decorated homes.
- Bring your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering.