Let’s Eat: Tips on how to avoid damage to the waistline this Christmas

Published 8:00 am Saturday, December 8, 2018

As the Christmas holiday season approaches, many begin to worry about fitting into their favorite jeans once January rolls around.

Many of us gain between 1 to 5 pounds each holiday season. Although those are small gains, most people who gain weight during the holidays never manage to return to their pre-holiday weight.

This year, don’t let holiday weight gain weigh you down! By implementing a few healthy strategies into your daily routine, you can stay on a healthier track.

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Move more. For the best health, adults need at least 30-60 minutes of exercise a day.

How you get those minutes is up to you! Do something you enjoy. Be active with friends for extra fun and support.

Having a smart watch or app to remind you to get up and move helps. Don’t let exercise go on vacation!

Look at the holiday as a day, not a week or a month. Splurge on just one day. Remember that desserts are for special occasions.

Make a plan. If you’re going to have a big dinner, eat a lighter lunch. Fill you plate once at the buffet or office party, and don’t go back for seconds.

Make a choice about what food you want, and eat slowly and mindfully. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to eat it.

Moderation. Remind yourself that holiday season is not your last chance to ever eat. 

Don’t avoid your favorite high-calorie foods altogether — that can cause feelings of deprivation and can lead to binge eating. Fill up first on healthier, lighter choices, and then enjoy small portions of your “splurge” foods. Eat until you feel satisfied, not “stuffed.’”

Never attend a party or get-together on an empty stomach. Make sure to grab a healthy snack or meal at home before the chaos begins!

Make a pact with yourself not to overindulge. Seriously!

If you decide to “let yourself go,” then you will. If you resolve to stay on track with mostly healthy eating and exercise, an occasional party or treat will not totally derail your efforts.

Try it; it really works!

If you don’t love it, don’t eat it. How often do you take a bite of food and it’s not that good then you eat it anyway? What wasted calories!

Remember what the holidays are all about. Focus less on the food and drinks and more on celebrating the beauty of the season and the company of the people you love.

Give yourself the gift of health over the holiday season by sticking with your fitness routine and planning ahead to curb excessive overeating. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Get enough rest and hydration. Sometimes it’s not food we crave, it’s lack of sleep and dehydration. 

Before grabbing that snack, drink some water.  If the hunger feeling goes away, then you were probably dehydrated.

It’s a challenge for people to stay on track this time of year, but if you make a plan and stick with it, January will be a kinder, gentler month.

This is an easy way to add extra flavor to your daily snack. Tip: Make a large batch with your favorite nuts and herbs for a great grab-and-go snack throughout the week.


Servings: 8 (¼ cup per serving)

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ pound (approximately 2 cups) almonds

3 (3-inch) sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed (can use 1 tablespoon dried if you don’t have fresh)

3 teaspoons crushed chili flakes

½ teaspoon salt

Use a large skillet over medium heat. Heat the oil and add the almonds. Stir to coat the almonds.

Add the rosemary leaves, crushed chili flakes and salt. Toss to coat the almonds.

Cook over medium heat stirring almost constantly for 15 minutes. Do not allow the almonds to get too brown.

(Recipe from medinsteadofmeds.com)