The holidays are nearly here, and that means holiday parties and food. If you’re trying to lose weight and keep it off, the holidays can be especially stressful.
Researchers have found that if you’re already overweight, you may gain more from November to January than people who are at a healthy weight.
Our board-certified bariatric and general surgeons at Turnquest Surgical Solutions understand challenges you face if you’re overweight or obese. How do you keep from sabotaging yourself if you’re on a weight loss plan or simply want to maintain your weight and not give in to every temptation at calorie-laden buffets?
Here are some helpful tips we put together to help you navigate the holidays without packing on the pounds.
Load up on lean protein
If you’re confronted with an endless buffet, choose proteins first along with veggies and fruit. Chicken skewers, shrimp with bacon, beef tartare, or similar fare ensure that you’re not actually hungry when you eye the desserts.
Look for bite-size dessert servings
If you have a sweet tooth and can’t do without desserts, be selective at holiday events. If small, bite-size petit fours are available, go with that size of sweet rather than a huge slice of a calorie-laden cake, and stick with just a few bites.
Find a focus other than food at get-togethers
If the family crowd normally watches TV after dinner with big bowls of snacks at hand, suggest a card game or board game away from the kitchen.
Or if the adults are still snacking after dinner, find the children and play a game with a niece or nephew.
Put your food on a plate
If you’re on a weight loss plan, you know to avoid eating food out of a bag when you’re snacking or watching a movie. Always put the food you’re going to eat on a plate so you see how much you’re eating. Once your portion is gone, put the plate in the dishwasher.
Watch the alcohol
Make a plan for alcohol consumption before you go to a holiday event. Knowledge is power. Know how many calories are in your favorite drink. Decide in advance how many calories you’ll allocate to alcoholic drinks and stick to it.
One glass of wine has about 125 calories, as does a vodka martini. A gin and tonic has about 170 calories. If you love that taste, go for diet tonic water. Eggnog is laden with 225 calories. One trick is making yourself a spritzer with seltzer and prosecco; you’ve just cut the calories in half.
Get a move on
Exercise is crucial when you’re eating a few more desserts than normal. Plus, it helps burn off holiday stress.
If a holiday event includes the opportunity to dance, get on the dance floor to work off some of the dinner calories. If it snows, ask the group to cross-country ski or take a long walk in nature’s winter beauty. You get the idea.
Regular check-in with an accountability partner
Make a habit every November to begin checking in with an accountability partner, whether it’s through a formal weight loss program or with a friend who’s committed to helping you reach and maintain your weight goal.
And if you need help with weight loss, call us at Turnquest Surgical Solutions to schedule a consultation or book online.