The average American can gain anywhere from 1 – 5 pounds during the holiday season, and the Calorie Control Council notes an average holiday feast contains 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat. The big concern is that studies show none of this weight gain is lost come the New Year.
Now, I am not going to tell you to watch what you eat or avoid the deviled eggs and booze, because I like to party. It would be hypocritical. Rather, here are three practical strategies to use that will allow you to have a blast without the expense of gaining body fat.
It’s not uncommon that each bite of your favorite appetizers can yield up to 60 calories! Using a small plate prevents us from mindlessly nibbling away and stacking up the calories. There’s also only so much room on a small plate, which we inevitably clean.
I love beer, and I am prone to drink more of it during the holidays. But at 64 calories per 1 oz. of hard liquor, booze isn’t our healthy friend. Three drinking strategies you can try:
- On the rocks: Ice melts, diluting the alcohol and extending the time it takes to drink it. Sip slowly and enjoy the drink. You’ll find yourself having fewer drinks throughout the night.
- Soda water mixers: Mixers like soda water don’t add extra sugars and calories to your drink. Stay away from sugary and cream-based mixers.
- Stouts and porters: Unlike other types of beers, stouts and porters can be enjoyed at warmer temperatures because the flavors of the malts and hops can be enhanced. Taking your time drinking these beers is a good way of slowing the pace of drinking while the beer is still enjoyable.
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is when you strategically (and briefly) restrict yourself from food or calorie containing beverages. There are many forms of IF, and studies have shown there are a number of health benefits. However, the focus here would be to simply manage calories because of the feasting we do during the holidays.
A practical application of IF would be to finish dinner (ideally around 6 or 7 p.m.), then fast until lunch the next day. During fasting, you can consume water, green teas and black coffee.
It’s the holidays, which means we should be with family and friends having a good time. Don’t burden yourself with the thought of dieting during these times. Simply aim to manage your calories while enjoying yourself.