Birthdays, baptisms, holidays, anniversaries, graduation…there are endless reasons to celebrate! And what better way to celebrate than with food? But all of these parties can lead to serious weight gain, and by the end of it all, you’re left wondering why your jeans are suddenly tight. These tips can help you navigate the party scene without the extra baggage.
While it may be unreasonable to expect yourself to eat sparingly during the holidays or at parties, you can find balance. Look at your calendar. What days are you most apt to indulge? Mark those dates down. These are your splurge days. The rest of the time, consider building activities that move your body – whether it’s at the gym, dancing, taking a long walk, raking leaves, a day packed with shopping and running errands, playing football – whatever. Keeping active not only helps you burn calories, it may keep you from sitting down to extra helpings.
You may find sticking to one serving of your favorites is difficult. Instead, try deciding on a few things you know you will want more of and minimize or avoid things that aren’t favorites. You can also try taking smaller portions. With smaller portions, seconds still feel like seconds, but you’re actually eating less. Eating slowly, savoring your food, and leaving space between servings allows your brain to recognize when it’s satisfied, so slow down. The cake will still be there when you’ve finished, we promise.
On your regular days, try filling your plate with an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables. Enjoy lean proteins like tofu, fish, beans, and unsalted nuts and seeds. You might also want to minimize intake of breads, baked goods, white rice, and pasta in favor of yams, yucca, plantains, quinoa, and brown rice. It’s also a good idea to skip fatty or high-sodium sauces and condiments.
On your splurge days, you can still sneak in some tricks. Add a fresh green salad full of a variety of raw vegetables during your meal. Try a hot clear broth or vegetable soup as a starter. Forego the chips and crackers in favor of vegetable sticks (easy on the dip), olives, and pickles.
We’re not saying you can’t drink sodas or fruity cocktails at your special events, but these drinks can be loaded with sugars and calories. Taking it easy on juices (particularly those marked as juice cocktail), alcohol, and sodas (even diet ones) can help cut hidden calories. So instead of gravitating towards the punch bowl, try one of these equally tasty beverages:
Some events require you to travel, and travel can disrupt sleep. You may not adjust well to a different bed, or jet lag might have turned you into an insomniac. Even abrupt climate changes can affect you. Sleep is an essential aid to keeping weight gain at bay because it can affect cortisol and metabolism.
On the other hand, try to avoid oversleeping. If you set a disciplined sleep and wake time, and get moving early in the day, you have a chance to boost your metabolism and take in some exercise.
If you’re looking for ways to keep weight gain at bay, we invite you to connect with our weight management team. We can help you create a custom plan and offer support for your weight management goals.