That holiday fudge is calling your name. Those Christmas cookies have a way into guilt-tripping you until they end up on your plate. And don’t even get me started on Aunt Sally’s gingerbread men that she makes from scratch every year! Sugary temptation are all around us from mid-November until early January. It’s hard not to eat those appealing Candy Cane cookies or Grandma’s peppermint fudge. If you find yourself surrounded by sweets, here’s some helpful holiday hints to survive the weight gain.
Freeze the cookies. Every year from my holiday gathering my grandmother has a medium-sized cookie tin ready for us to take leftover cookies. We usually end up with more than we can eat so in the freezer they go. Your cookies are going to still going to be tasting fresh in February, but really after 3 months they shouldn’t be eaten any longer. How you store the cookies really depends on how they’re baked, but most of my family stores their cookies in tins or tupperware and the cookies do just fine.
Never arrive to the party hungry. Doctors have found people eat more when they arrive hungry to holiday parties. Try drinking a big glass of water before you go. This is going to suppress your appetite. Water leaves you feeling more full and you are less likely to overeat. In fact, if you increase your water drinking to 2 full 8-ounce glasses, you are more likely to keep your holiday weight gain down and shed pounds over the holidays.
Don’t focus on the food. Holiday parties are meant to be fun. There’s much more to the food of which your company has catered or the turkey that sits in the middle of the table. Focus on the games that are being played and show your competitive side. Catch up with your long-lost cousin about her time in the Peace Corp or your co-worker that just started working with you. You are less likely to eat if you talk to others or focus on other aspects, such as door prizes at your company party.
Outsmart the buffet. Buffet plates are using large and round. If you can, grab a smaller plate. This will allow you to take less food from the buffet but make wiser choices. For instance, you may choose to put shrimp cocktail on your plate. At less than a hundred calories, it’s a healthy meat that will help you not to see those unwanted pounds. Beware of fruits such as grapes, however, that have nearly 13 grams of sugar. If the buffet has strawberries or watermelon these are much better choices.
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is really high in calories. In fact, there is 7 calories per gram in each alcoholic drink. If you drink 100g of vodka, for instance, you’re intaking over 200 calories. Gin, at only 72 calories, is a much better choice for holiday parties. But it’s not just calorie-consumption we have to worry about here. Those that drink are often more likely to eat high-calorie foods without realizing what they eat. The food stabilizes their alcohol-intake, which works in their favor, but then it works against them in weight gain. So, as they say, drink in moderation.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to have fun at holiday parties. It’s a time to talk to others, play games and steal a better white elephant gift from someone else! Whether you’re wearing reindeer ears or dancing to Jingle Bell Rock, it’s important to live in the moment. Be safe and smart this holiday. And seriously, don’t bite the gingerbread man’s head off! That’s just not nice.