This week's post comes from guest blogger Heather Mason, MS, RDN. She has some great tips for keeping your waistline in check over the holidays.
In college I had a running teacher that told the class the average holiday weight gain was between 7- 10 pounds. After she said this, I looked around and saw horror on all of the freshmen girls’ faces. I was shocked when I heard that number, 7 pounds?!! That is like 2 pants sizes. Could it be true? No. The answer is no. I don’t know where that teacher got her statistics from but she is totally wrong. I hope she is reading this post right now and not spreading unwarranted fear to her current running class.
The truth is, people do tend to gain a bit of weight during the holiday season, but the real average is only between 1-2 pounds. Not a big deal. However, if you are gaining 2 pounds every holiday season it does add up. Keep in mind the holidays are about more than just food. Good food is an important part of celebrations, but it is not the only part.
Here are some tips for keeping your weight in check this holiday season:
- Just as you shouldn’t go grocery shopping while hungry, don’t go to the holiday party hungry! Have a meal full of fiber and protein before you go. Such as roasted chicken and kale salad.
- Keep on exercising! I know the holidays are a busy time, but don’t put physical activity on the back burner. Exercise helps relieve stress and makes us feel better! If you are going shopping, power walk! Those shopping bags can be built in dumbbells. Do a few bicep curls when you are holding bags!
- Bring a healthy dish. Crudité, hummus and pita chips, fruit with yogurt dip. The possibilities are endless. If you bring something healthy at least you know there is one thing at the party that you can eat guilt free.
- Play games. Something as easy as charades after a big holiday meal will give you just the right amount of activity to burn off some of that turkey.
- Be careful with alcohol. Alcohol not only contributes empty calories, but it can lower your inhibitions and lead to poor decision making with regards to overeating. Let’s face it, 3 AM Jack in the Box runs never happen when you are sober. Some of the lower calorie holiday drinks are light beer, vanilla vodka and diet ginger ale, or white rum and diet coke.
Most important of all, just relax and enjoy yourself. I hope everyone has a happy and healthy holiday season!
Heather Mason is a Registered Dietitian who holds a Master’s Degree in Nutrition Science. She currently works at Sierra Vista Medical Clinic where she counsels adults and children with diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. She has a passion for blogging and delivering her healthy eating message in a fun and humorous way. Her hobbies include baking and cooking, snowboarding, and any outdoor activities. She is also an avid group exerciser and loves teaching Zumba Fitness classes. You can read more posts from her on her blog The Nutty Nutritionist. Follow her on Twitter @HeatherRDN.