It’s the holiday season, and you’re sticking to a diet. That means you have to stay locked away in a room. Maybe you can make merry next year instead.
Believe it or not, these five tips will help you actually lose weight over the holidays.
Foods To Say Yes To
You aren’t going to be able to pass up on eating during the holidays. There are too many events and family traditions tied to food. And the thing is you don’t have to. Instead, make some strategic food choices like these so you can enjoy some of Grandma’s turkey without doing damage to your waistline.
Instead of sitting down for a colossal, coma-inducing meal, don’t be afraid to snack. Bonus points if you find the veggie tray or nosh on some protein. Even eating from an appetizer plate instead of a dinner plate is helpful. You can trick your eyes (and your pushy aunt!) into thinking you are chowing down on more food than you really are by opting for a smaller plate size.
Cheese and dark chocolate might seem like the opposite of healthy-eating advice. But protein is a powerhouse that helps you feel full longer. Pass on the carb-laden appetizers; snack some cubes of cheese from the cheese tray or a few pieces of dark chocolate at dessert time.
Say No to Seconds
Load up your plate with leafy greens, roasted veggies, and lean cuts of meat (hello, turkey!) when you can. But even if you do indulge in some of the less healthier options, stick to one small serving. That smaller plate will help you actually stick to single portions. You won’t feel deprived, and you also won’t do much damage to your diet.
Raise a Glass
If you thought staying focused on health and fitness during the holidays meant hiding in the room during toasts, you’re wrong. It’s possible to enjoy the holidays–without or even with alcohol–and still stick to your goals.
H2O is the Way to Go
This holiday season, make friends with water. There’s a good chance you’re already in the habit of tipping back your water bottle on the regular, but if your water bottle isn’t exactly holiday attire, make sure you keep your water glass full. Drink a glass with your meal, and carry a glass with you when you’re mingling. You’ll be a lot less likely to reach for extra snacks. Sometimes, you just need to keep your hands busy.
Lay Off the Eggnog
We’re not actually going to focus on booze. Yet. Instead, let’s talk about all of the nonalcoholic drinks that might show up during the holiday season. From juices and ciders to eggnogs and cocoa, there are dozens of drinks that might be passed your way. Don’t drink your calories. Opt for sparkling water, coffee, or tea.
If you do drink alcohol, that’s OK. One or two drinks won’t ruin your diet, especially if you plan ahead. Just say no to mixed drinks as most of them are riddled with sugar and calories. Instead, stick to clear liquor, a wine spritzer, or even a beer.
Make a Plan
Before you head out for the holidays, create a plan. Why? Fail to plan and plan to fail. We are not about that this holiday season. In addition to recording your choices in a food journal or calculating a ballpark of the macros ahead of time. If you don’t know what is being served (or you do and you know there are very few diet-friendly options!), offer to bring a dish. Whether it’s an appetizer, a side, or even a dessert, the host will be grateful, and you’ll be able to count on at least one food choice that won’t sabotage your diet.
Walk it Out
Incorporate movement into your day. This won’t make you some sort of social outcast. There’s a really good chance family and friends are looking for someone else who wants to lose weight over the holidays. Take a walk around the neighborhood with some dinner guests to enjoy the decorations or round up a group for some flag football in the backyard. The more you can keep yourself off the couch during the holidays, the better. If you are able to squeeze in a workout pre-party, try to tack on an extra 10 minutes.
You won’t undo months of progress in a single day. You just won’t. If you do get a little lax with your diet one day, don’t panic and don’t throw in the towel. Even though it might seem like the holidays are never ending, they are usually over in the blink of an eye. Remember that you will be back to your regular schedule in no time. Do the best you can with sticking to your diet and fitness routines during the holidays, and know that you can hit it hard come January when there is a lot less temptation.
You Really Can Lose Weight Over the Holidays
See. It’s not impossible. From Thanksgiving all the way to ringing in the New Year, you can keep things merry without having to hide from the scale or your workout partner. A little planning combined with some strategic food and beverage choices will help you lose weight over the holidays while you celebrate. Cheers!