If you ate just one extra treat every day during the holiday season, without making up for it in exercise, you could be up to a kilo heavier by the beginning of January! Wouldn't it be nice to not have to make losing holiday weight your New Year's resolution?
Here is a list of the top ten bad holiday habits to avoid so you can prevent the extra weight gain you often see by January:
- Starting Holiday Habits Too Early in The Season Indulge in holiday treats and drinking only during special occasions and holiday parties. The in-between drinks with acquaintances should be limited. Using each day of the holiday season as an excuse to drink and eat excessively will add up quickly.
- Buying More Food Than You Need Stocking cupboards with extra holiday snack foods, chocolates, and sweets is a recipe for disaster. Purchase only foods that you need. Wait until right before a holiday event to buy those extra treats.
- Snacking on Low Quality Nibbles It's easy to get caught up in the wide array of holiday, high fat snacks. Instead, choose seafood, cheeses, nuts, and healthier snacks. Save the sweets for only big events.
- Not Exercising Enough With the busy holiday season, it's easy to get caught up in extra events and lose your priority of going to the gym. If you are too busy for the gym, maintain physical activity in other ways, such as by parking far away from an entrance and exercising at home. Even if you can only manage a big walk before Christmas dinner it will go someway to helping you curb weight gain.
- Arriving at Parties Hungry When you come to a cocktail event starving, you are more likely to eat more snacks. A common mistake is overindulging on pastries, chips and dips while waiting for the healthier main dish to arrive. Eat a handful of nuts or an apple about one hour before the party so you are less likely to reach for the high fat treats before the meals.
- Eating Everything Offered to You When you are busy talking to your friends, you may not even realize all the snacks you grab and eat. If someone offers you a treat, stop and think if you really want it. Often times, you don't want it but just take it because it was offered.
- Overindulging in Alcohol With all the parties going on during the festive season, it's common to forget your usual limits with alcohol. Try to avoid high-kilojoule mixers such as soft drinks and flavoured drinks, and drink plenty of water, especially if it's hot.
- Choosing Fattening Snacks Holiday snacks, such as chips with dip and pastries, can be high in fat and kilojoules. But there are a lot of snacks low in kilojoules yet taste great. You can find multigrain crackers, low fat dips, and baked potato chips.
- Having an "All or Nothing" Attitude with Food You don't need to completely write off all tasty treats for the next few weeks in order to avoid weight gain. Balance the excess of food by exercising more or replacing treats with more nutritious, portion-controlled ones.
- Letting Holiday Habits Continue into January Make a plan to ditch the bad habits by New Year's. If you don't set a date then you could carry those habits into the next year without even realizing it. Also, get back into your exercise routines to work off any weight you did gain and to prevent bad habits from adding up. Get a start on a healthier new you now, before New Year's!