Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

With the holidays comes a 6 week stretch of eating delicious meals, treats and sweets of every variety.  With so many goodies being passed around at parties, a few extra pounds around the waistline sneaks up quickly and easily.  Everyone wants to indulge a little bit over this special time of year (especially if you're spending it on vacation!), but how can you keep it from getting out of hand? Here are a few tips that will enable you to have your cake and eat it, too - without sacrificing your figure!

Play Favorites!
Don't waste your calories munching on mindless party snacks like chips and dip that you can have anytime.  Instead, save them for the good stuff that only comes around once a year, like homemade pumpkin pie or your grandma's famous chocolate pound cake.  You don't need to sample all of the desserts in the buffet line; just stick to your favorites.

Plan Ahead
When you know you have a party coming up, plan accordingly.  Be sure to eat healthy in the days leading up to the event rather than promising yourself you'll eat better in the days following.  On the day of the party, eat a healthy snack right before heading out the door so that you won't have as much room for sweets.  Drinking water throughout the day also helps to minimize that "hungry" feeling.  If you show up at a party starving, you're sure to over-indulge.

Have a Safety Net
In the face of temptation, it can be difficult to resist going back for seconds...and thirds.  To help, have your own "security system" in place.  Wear a a form fitting outfit (belts are great!) so that you will feel it when you've gone too far.  During the course of the night, make a goal to mingle and socialize away from the table.  Remember: out of sight, out of mind!  Lastly, use the "buddy system." Stick with a friend who is also trying to watch what they eat and act as each other's support.

Take Care of Your Body
What do you get when you consume excess calories but spend your days as a couch potato?  That's right, the extra pounds.  While some think of "exercise" as a bad word, it really doesn't have to be.  Make it fun!  Take family walks to look at the Christmas lights in your neighborhood.  Every little bit helps!  Pick a parking spot at the back of the lot so you have to walk a little further and try to take the stairs instead of the elevator when possible.  Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is also important.  If you're in a constant state of fatigue, you won't have the motivation to exercise and you're likely to consume excess food in an effort to increase your energy level. Weighing in twice a week can help you stay aware of where you are and lets you know if you need to modify what you're doing.
While Eating...
Load up your plate with a fair amount of fruits and veggies.  Eat those first so there won't be quite as much room for all the sweets - but of course it's okay to save room for some!  Just don't over do it. Next, be sure to pace yourself.  Keep in mind that it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to register that it's full, so eating slowly will help prevent over-eating.  If you have a host that keeps insisting that you eat up, it's okay to politely decline.  Let them know that everything was very delicious and that you're full.  Finally, try limiting your alcohol intake.  Alcohol is full of empty calories and inhibits your sense of self control, which can cause additional eating.

Most importantly, you don't have to constantly deny yourself!  The holiday season is meant to be enjoyed in every aspect.  As long as you stay in control and don't over do it, there's no reason why you can't indulge in your favorite seasonal goodies.  Plantation Resort will be happy to point you to some of the best local restaurants and events in the area where you can enjoy delectable holiday treats.  On site, we have a fantastic morning breakfast buffet that offers several healthy options to help you start your day off right.  After your feast, you can enjoy our renowned fitness facilities with free weights, ellipticals, treadmills and more.  We also offer several aerobics classes, including the ever popular Zumba!

We look forward to seeing you soon!

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