Easy ways to keep holiday bulge at bay
The eating season is upon us. So how are we expected to keep it under control with so many tasty treats tempting us? Here are several easy tricks you can pull out of your stocking to curb cravings and still enjoy your favorites without the holiday bulge.
- Never starve to save calories for the big buffet. By the time you get there, you are ravished and shovel food in so quickly you’re probably not enjoying the taste, plus you are eating more calories than you need.
- Aim for 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day, which will keep your blood sugar levels steady and your appetite satisfied.
- Drinking an 8 oz. glass of water before a meal will fill you up.
- Use a salad or dessert plate for meals to keep portion sizes under control.
- Load up on leafy greens, vegetable dishes and lean proteins, which allow you to eat more food for fewer calories without feeling deprived. You can still have the decadent and rich foods, just go easy.
- Before you give in to a craving, do something healthy, such as walking around the office for five minutes or climbing a few flights of stairs.
- Keep yourself in check by trying on those slim-fitting pants once a week and note how they fit. Too tight? Adjust your habits. Just right? Keep up the good work.
- Keep up with your exercise routine. You do have time and you will feel so much better after it’s done.
- Stay away from temptation. If the holiday potluck is in the kitchen, don’t go near it. Out of sight, out of mind.
- Don’t shop hungry! Marketing gurus have spent years and millions of dollars on ways to stimulate your appetite while shopping. Stash healthy foods in your purse, desk or car so you’re not tempted when hunger strikes.
- Allow yourself one “cheat” day per week. No, this does not give you the freedom to overdo it, but it does allow you to enjoy your favorite holiday treats reasonably.
- When you do enjoy an extra treat, make one switch during the day to account for the extra calories―maybe skip the morning latte, cut out an afternoon snack or add in an extra 15 minute workout.
At this time of year, try to be more flexible when you face daily temptations. You are in control and when you use willpower you will feel rewarded and left with a sense of accomplishment. Follow these tips as a way to savor the culinary joys of the holidays with less guilt and a lot less bulge.
Learn more about how you can have a healthy blue holiday by following the Healthy Blue Snowman. He’s traveling across Michigan with Healthy Blue Xtras from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Check out more at: ahealthiermichigan.org/healthybluesnowman.
Photo credit: Saidos da Concha
Michelle Christ began her personal wellness journey 8 years ago and is a constant student of health, fitness and nutrition. She is a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor plus holds certifications in many other disciplines including PIYO, RIPPED, Kettlebell, Pilates and Zumba. She is also a certified AFPA nutrition counselor and enjoys helping people learn how to eat sensibly and clean without dieting. She has a passion for educating others about the joys of wellness and feels fortunate to be able to help people unlock their true potential everyday.