Turkey, ham, pumpkin pie, fudge, hot chocolate, spiked eggnog, and other popular holiday foods are some of the biggest culprits of holiday weight gain in the United States. In fact, according to WebMD, the average American gains between seven to 10 pounds every holiday season, and often fails to lose this weight over the course of the year. As a result, Americans keep getting heavier with each passing year just from indulging over the holidays.
But despite this statistic, it’s still possible to enjoy your favorite holiday foods without suffering from excess weight gain, and by losing weight instead! Here are three tips on how to lose weight and still enjoy the holidays.
1. Eat your heaviest meals in the morning
Since your body needs carbohydrates for fuel and energy, you don’t want to cut carbs completely from your diet. Instead, load up on carbs earlier in the day when you plan on being more active. Instead of eating a large, heavy dinner in the typical fashion of most US families, eat a heavier breakfast and lunch, and go light for dinner. This year, instead of eating your family’s traditional Christmas or New Years meal for dinner, prepare it for the after12:00 p.m. or early evening hours. This habit will also help prevent you from going to bed with a full, heavy stomach.
2. Eat more vegetables all day long
Start omitting meat and dairy from nearly all of your meals, and go heavy on the vegetables. Dairy and meat products make up a large portion of your daily calorie intake, so if you cut these foods out of your meals, you won’t have to pay as close attention to calories. Plus, if you do want to indulge a little over the holidays, you can do so without having to worry about offsetting calories from meat and dairy. As long as you’re exercising regularly and eating clean with lots of vegetables, you can focus less on tracking calories.
3. Follow the 80 / 20 rule
The 80 / 20 rule means that 80 percent of the time you should be eating healthy, whole foods, and 20 percent of the time you can allow yourself to indulge a little in alcohol, dessert, and your other favorite foods. The 80 / 20 rule often makes for a healthy balance, and holds you accountable for the foods you eat on a daily basis. You can even apply the 80 / 20 rule to each specific holiday meal. For example, make 80 percent of your plate a healthy mixture of turkey and vegetables, and make 20 percent of your plate a portion of bread or mashed potatoes with gravy.
CarePoint Health Center for Bariatric Surgery offers a number of different weight-loss surgeries to help you meet your weight-loss goals, including sleeve gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. To learn more about our bariatric surgery options, contact us at 201-795-8175 and register for our free seminar.
Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.