Here's How You Can Still Maintain Your Weight Loss Goals During the Holidays

Even if your holiday parties look different this year, there’s no denying that holiday food is still just as delicious — and just as caloric. Pies, buttery rolls, rich side dishes, and carb-heavy side dishes make holiday parties a potential problem for dieters.

But you don’t have to forgo the festivities altogether. Here at Lady’s Care Center, we know that moderation is the key to weight loss. That’s why Dr. Ladynez Espinal offers medical weight loss programs to help you reach your long-term goals. 

In an effort to help you reach your short-term goals (and stay on track over the holidays), she’s prepared this guide to help you enjoy the holidays while still maintaining your weight loss.

1. Focus on your Zzz’s 

If you’re not sleeping enough (read: 7-9 hours each night), you might put your weight loss goals in jeopardy. Insufficient sleep can sabotage weight loss by increasing your hunger hormone and making you too tired to work out. Studies show that a lack of sleep is statistically linked to reduced exercise, feeling hungrier (thanks to increases in the hunger hormone), and increased consumption of high-caloric-density foods. 

The takeaway: prioritize your sleep over the holidays! It’s tempting to stay up late to prepare for the holidays or to catch up with friends and family, but make sure that your holiday plans include getting to bed at a decent time.

2. Don’t graze 

What’s a holiday party without a variety of appetizers and hors d'oeuvres? Although delicious, most appetizers are high in calories, and it’s far too easy to graze without realizing how much you just consumed. The most common appetizers, including cheese trays, dips, and puff pastries are high in fat and calories. 

To avoid unintentional weight gain, keep these tips in mind:

Another tip: drink plenty of water before you eat. Sometimes thirst cues can be mistaken for hunger cues.

3. Maintain a regular exercise routine

Although holidays and family gatherings can disrupt your normal schedule, don’t cut your workout out of your schedule. Staying consistent with your exercise routine can help combat any weight gain over the holidays. 

Bonus: invite a family member to join you for a walk around the block, a brisk morning jog, or try an online workout together.

4. Eat more protein

Holiday food tends to be carb-heavy: mashed potatoes, pies, rolls, etc. When you fill your plate, you don’t need to avoid all carbohydrates, but make sure you’re getting enough protein. Protein — which can be found in turkey, roasts, hummus, beans, and eggs — helps you feel fuller for longer, which reduces the likelihood that you’ll snack after your meal.

If you’re having a hard time getting enough protein, consider eating a protein bar or shake to reduce snacking.

5. Practice stress management techniques

According to a 2013 study, people with high stress levels tend to eat more — and they eat more junk food. Exercise can be a great way to stay in shape and keep your cortisol levels down. You can also try deep breathing exercises, meditation, and setting aside time to practice self-care.

6. Avoid taste-testing (if possible)

When you’re cooking, it’s common to taste your food periodically to make sure your seasonings are balanced. However, this can be a hidden source of calories, especially if you’re tasting something rich like a sauce or a dessert. If possible, have someone else take test bites. If that’s not possible, take as small as possible of a taste. Use a demitasse spoon instead of a big soup spoon for tasting.

7. Focus on fiber

Protein isn’t the only nutrient that keeps you feeling full. Dietary fiber is good for your digestive system and keeps you satisfied. You can find dietary fiber in whole grains, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. Sprinkle toasted almonds on top of steamed broccoli for a healthy, fiber-rich side dish.

Need help reaching your weight loss goals?

Losing weight (and keeping it off) is hard, but you don’t have to go on this journey alone. We can help you reach your ideal weight. To explore your options, call our Miramar, Florida office at 954-372-1653. Or, simply visit our website to request an appointment online.

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