The holidays have a way of throwing even the most dedicated health enthusiast off their game. Not this year! VeraVia unwraps our best tips for staying healthy, happy, and, yes, even calm during this busy time of year. Here’s to your healthiest, happiest holiday season ever! Many Americans gain between 1 and 5 pounds each holiday season. While it might not sound like much, most people never manage to lose those extra pounds. The holidays don’t exactly sneak up on us, but extra holiday pounds sure do. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day there is an emphasis on festive foods and drinks that can leave you low on sleep and sacrificing healthy routines. Thankfully, you can still enjoy all your favorite holiday fare without putting on extra pounds. Try these VeraVia approved tips.
1. Prioritize Sleep for Stronger Willpower
Aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Research shows that you will make better food choices, be able to recognize appetite cues, and consume fewer high-calorie foods when you’re well-rested.
2. Create a Daily Eating Plan
At the beginning of each day, write down what you plan to eat that day. We have the most self-control in the morning, so this is the best time to draft a meal plan. Then track what you eat and drink in a food journal to help you stay aware of what you’re putting into your body. Over time it’s helpful to track your weight with concrete evidence too – such as a daily progress picture or weekly weigh-in on the scale. Understanding, the number on the scale isn’t always a reliable metric – you should also pay attention to whether your clothes feel any looser and how your progress pictures evolve.
3. Pre-Game with Vegetables, Water, and Tea
Before you head to holiday festivities, have a pre-meal of vegetables, water, and tea. Vegetables, such as sliced bell peppers, carrots, or cucumbers, will fill you up with fiber for very few calories so you won’t arrive hungry. The water and tea helps you feel full and calm so you have a better chance of making a mindful decision about your food choices when you get to the party. A meal plan has to include your favorite foods or similar substitutes that you can enjoy in moderation. For example, if you like ice cream, you don’t need to stop eating it; just consume it in smaller amounts or in healthier forms, such as keto-friendly brands. Don’t try to force yourself to eat anything you don’t like. Eating foods that you hate will only make you less likely to stick to your weight loss plan for the long term.
4. Eat and Enjoy – Don’t Stress
Mindful eating can help you avoid extra calories all year, but it’s especially helpful during the holidays. Go ahead and enjoy those once-a-year holiday treats. Just remember to “pay attention to your food, eat slowly, and savor it. Stress can lead to overeating, poor sleep, and a host of hormonal issues that negatively impact your weight and overall health. In fact, a majority of doctor’s visits in the U.S. — 75 to 90 percent, according to our internal resources — are due to stress-related issues. In order to effectively take control of your health, you need to address the sources of stress in your life. If there are actions you can take to remove stressors from your life, now’s the time to make these changes. If your stress stems from a situation you can’t change, find stress relief methods like sports, counseling, meditation, or even watching your favorite comedy movie. These steps will go a long way toward helping you lose weight. Simple trick: Move physically away from the food. Instead of standing over the chips and dip while talking to your friend, put a handful of chips and a tablespoon of dip on your plate and find a spot to continue your conversation.
5. Keep Liquid Calories in Check
It’s certainly possible to have fun without alcohol, but if you do choose to drink, remember that alcohol has calories too. Steer clear of cocktails with many ingredients that can really pack a lot of extra sugar. Instead, choose a five-ounce glass of wine or a 12-ounce bottle of light beer, which counts as one serving of alcohol. It’s also a good idea to drink a glass of water or seltzer between each alcoholic beverage to keep yourself hydrated. As you age, your body’s ability to conserve water is reduced and your sense of thirst weakens, so it’s especially important for older adults to sip water. Weight loss plans can succeed if you find the right one for you and go into it with the right attitude. Your current habits got you where you are, so whatever weight loss plan you choose, it has to be something that you can keep doing in a modified form for maintenance. Otherwise, you’re going to end up back where you started, which is why so many weight loss efforts seem to fail. A weight loss plan needs to involve more than just a modified diet and an exercise routine. If you’re looking for a weight loss plan with long-lasting results, let the experts at VeraVia assist you in achieving your goals. Our multidisciplinary approach to weight loss combines fitness, medical, nutrition, and behavioral health to create a customized program that meets your individual needs.
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