December 21

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3 Holiday Diet Fails & How to Beat Them

Grinch holiday party

By: Corinne Dobbas, MS,RD

The Holidays offer a festive time of joy, laughter, and warm-fuzzy memories.  However, they also can come with a not-so-festive side of weight gain, if you’re not careful. Below are three things to avoid this Holiday season and how to battle them, successfully!

Diet fail #1 Saving calories for later: One of the unhealthiest things you can do for your metabolism is barely eating anything all day and then loading up on the “big meal.”Essentially, the thought is that you’ll save your calories for later. Although it may seem as a good tactic to keep weight at bay, our bodies are not as simple as a mathematical equation. In fact, this eating pattern often leads to weight gain and alters metabolism for the worse. Plus, “starving” all day leads to super-high hunger levels and as a result, overeating. Not ideal for weight loss!

How to beat it: The Holidays are overwhelming and busy. Take 10-15 minutes the night before to plan what you will eat the next day. Better yet, box-up your snacks and lunch, so you have a no-excuse fail proof plan! Another helpful tip is setting eating reminders in your phone. Sometimes all you need is an extra reminder. Examples of healthy easy snacks include: ½ cup black beans mixed with salsa; 6 prawns dipped in cocktail sauce; a cup of tomato soup topped with a touch of Parmesan.

Diet fail #2 Socializing instead of sweating: Night after night of mingling, drinking, and noshing can add up. Especially, when you start to skip the gym for the bar. This translates to excess drink calories and more often than not, unhealthier fare than usual.

How to beat it: To get through the Holiday party season healthfully, schedule your workouts when they realistically fit in and stick to them. To be sure you stay on track, plan for the week ahead and schedule in a “bonus” day. You can workout extra this day or use it as a backup, in case you simply had to miss an original planned sweat session. Ultimately, make your workouts happen.

Diet fail #3 Indulging in the sweat season: This time of year, extra sweets, chocolate, pastries, and other high-fat, sugar-laden foods lurk in offices, homes, and at social events.

How to beat it: Drink plenty of water (enough so your urine is clear) to help you determine real hunger versus cravings. And at social events, have a plan before you go. Envision what you will have ahead of time, so when you get there, you’ll be more likely to stick to your guns. At home, keep treats out of sight (out of sight, out of mind!) and get rid of them when you can. Make your environment work for you.

How do you avoid Holiday diet disasters?

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