December 11, 2015
Most people assume that, to prevent holiday weight gain, they need to forget about enjoying themselves and not indulge at all during this festive time of year. The majority of Americans simply accept that they’ll gain a little weight, but they’ll make it their New Year’s resolution to take it off. Here’s the good news: You can enjoy the holidays and prevent weight gain with these four simple steps.
1. Set limits before you go to parties.
Although this sounds trite, providing yourself with some structure and setting limits prevents mindless eating and keeps you from indulging in an extra cocktail or hors-d’oeuvre simply because it’s offered to you.
If alcohol is your thing, take a peek at the calories in popular drinks and use this list to create your party limits:
- Hot buttered rum (10 ounces): 418 calories
- White Russian (4 ounces): 355 calories
- Eggnog (8 ounces): 350 calories
- Sparkling cider (8 ounces): 180 calories
- Beer: between 64 and 198 calories per 12 ounces. Choose light beers and low-carb options to stick to about 100 calories.
- Gin and tonic: There are 103 calories in a 1-ounce gin and 3-ounce tonic, and it’s easy to get more than 1 ounce of gin in a mixed drink. One ounce of gin contains 65 calories, so just two ounces of gin is 130 calories. Factor in the 3 ounces of tonic and your “small” 5-ounce drink contains 160 calories.
- Vodka (1 ounce) with Diet Sprite (8.5 ounces): 70 calories
- Vodka (1 ounce) and diet cranberry juice (8.5 ounces): 70 calories
- Skinnygirl margarita or sangria (4 ounces): 100 calories
- Prosecco wine (5 ounces): 100 calories
- Champagne (5 ounces): 110 calories
- Low-carb cosmopolitan cocktail (6 ounces): 105 calories
- Sugar-free whiskey sour cocktail (4.5 ounces): 106 calories
2. Keep a sugar-free mint or sugar-free gum with you.
Pop either of these in your mouth as soon as you reach the food or drink limit you’ve set for yourself. If you can brush your teeth, having a minty mouth works well, too.
3. Plan to have an enjoyable, portion-controlled sweet treat at home after the party.
This way, you have something to look forward to and you can either turn down the desserts at the party or limit yourself to a bite or two. Alternatively, some of our clients like to have their dessert before going to the party rather than after to keep them in check. Here are a few to try:
4. Don’t forget to hydrate.
You likely hear this health advice all of the time. it’s so simple and repeated so often that many ignore it. But the truth is that simply drinking water, seltzer or another calorie-free beverage and choosing water-rich foods like fruits and veggies helps hydrate and fill your stomach and your body. Plus, the fiber in the produce helps to fill you up. There's also evidence that drinking water before meals helps you consume fewer calories. Drink water throughout the day (especially a cup or two before each meal and during exercise), and add some colorful produce at each meal. Do this right before heading to a party to take the edge off hunger so that you can make rationale decisions about what to eat.
Find it hard to drink plain water? Try these jazzed up water options:
The Nutrition Twins Contributor
Tammy Lakatos Shames and Elysse (“Lyssie”) Lakatos, The Nutrition Twins®, share a passion to teach people how to eat healthfully and exercise so they'll have energy to live happy lives. The twins have been featured as nutrition experts on Good Morning America, Discovery Health, Fox News, NBC, Bravo, CBS, The Learning Channel, FitTV, Oxygen Network, and Fox & Friends. They co-wrote The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure: Expert Advice and Tantalizing Recipes for Health, Energy and Beauty, The Secret to Skinny: How Salt Makes You Fat and the 4-Week Plan to Drop A Size & Get Healthier with Simple Low Sodium Swaps. The twins are both ACE Certified Personal Trainers, and members of the American Dietetic Association and several Dietetic Practice Groups.More Blogs by The Nutrition Twins »