Our Tips for Navigating the Holidays When You're Trying to Lose Weight

The holidays are often centered around food. Whether you’re enjoying a delicious meal with family and friends, attending (socially distanced) parties, or just celebrating by baking your favorite cookies and pies, overindulging seems inevitable.

If you’ve committed to losing weight, the holidays may seem like a minefield. Here are some tips from the team at Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center to help you navigate the treats of the season and come out feeling and looking your best!

Sample everything you want

Now this may sound like a recipe for weight gain. However, if you take a small serving of the foods you crave, you feel satisfied and not deprived. This sets you up for success later; you won’t go home and feel sorry for yourself and in a moment of weakness dig into that box of cheap candy.

No need to grab a large plate and pile on the food. Take small portions, and place them on a small plate, so you feel delightfully indulgent without overdoing it.

Eat mindfully

Place your small servings on a plate, move away from the buffet, and converse with family and friends as you enjoy your goodies. Take your small plate to the table, and sit down to have a thoughtful conversation, slowly nibbling away as you go.

Don’t save up for a big feast

It’s tempting to skip meals in advance of a holiday dinner, so you can eat more. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. We urge you to eat a normal breakfast and lunch so that you don’t arrive at the holiday dinner famished.

Keep up with physical activity

Although you may be busier than usual, prioritize exercise. You may have to cut workouts a little short, but don’t abandon them altogether. Even a walk with visiting family members can make a difference.

Don’t skimp on sleep

Lack of sleep can mess with the hormones that regulate feelings of fullness and hunger.

Resist the urge to stay up late so that you can catch up with family and friends. You need your sleep.

Fill up on fiber

Foods that contain a lot of fiber, like fresh vegetables and fruits, can curb your appetite. Nuts are another good source, but watch your portion sizes. Go for ones you have to shell yourself.

Moderate your drinking

Festive drinks, with or without alcohol, count toward your daily intake. A few too many beers or glasses of wine mean you may overshoot your calorie goals even if you’re careful while eating. And eggnog, buttered rum, and chocolate martinis are definite calorie bombs.

Plus, a little too much to drink can cause you to lose your self-control and eat more than you planned.

Keep track of your weight

Although your weight always varies slightly day-to-day, regular weekly check-ins can help keep you honest. It’s tempting to skip the scale during the holidays, but knowing where the numbers stand means you can quickly reverse any upward trends in your weight.

Make healthy substitutions

If you’re the one in charge of cooking, try to use healthier ingredients that aren’t full of empty calories. For example, substituting applesauce for sugar and some fat in a baked good is a great technique. Use herbs and spices to flavor your food rather than fat-laden sauces.

Remember: It isn’t all or nothing

The holiday treats are tempting, and if you fall prey to the cookie platter, go easy on yourself. If you overindulge in one instance, it’s unlikely to vastly alter your weight. Get right back on track at your next meal.

At Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center, we want you to have a happy holiday season! If you do have weight loss goals, we can help you stick to them and fine tune your physique with CoolSculpting® once you’ve reached your goal weight. Contact the Warrenton, Virginia office by phone, or use the online tool to schedule an appointment.

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