GingerCochran, MS,RDN, CDCES
The holiday season is a time for celebration, delicious food, and quality time with loved ones. However, it can also be a time of overindulgence, leading to unwanted weight gain. The good news is that enjoying the holiday season is entirely possible without sabotaging your weight loss goals.
Many people halt their healthy habits and weight management goals during these months. I am here to tell you that YOU do not have to. Continuing your health goals into the holiday can be easier than you think with the help of Designer Wellness!
In this blog, we'll discuss strategies for planning holiday meals you're making, managing those you're attending, and maintaining your exercise routine to help you stay on track with your weight loss journey.
Part 1: Planning Holiday Meals You're Making
- Choose Healthier Ingredients: Make healthier ingredient choices when preparing holiday meals at home. You can still enjoy delicious, nutrient-dense dishes with the ingredients below.
- Choose lean proteins like turkey or chicken instead of fatty meats like prime rib.
- Swap for whole grains with at least 3g of fiber per serving, like bulger instead of white rice.
- Bulk up meals with plenty of vegetables.
- Watch your sugar. Use Designer Wellness Protein powder in baked goods to help add flavor without sugar. Read here on exactly how to use protein powders in your baked goods.
- Control Portions: Try these tips to practice portion control while at home.
- Serve yourself on smaller plates and encourage your guests to do the same. This can help prevent overeating.
- Make a large veggie dish and foil your plate with half.
- Eat your protein first at the meal. This can help reduce your hunger hormones and make you feel fuller more quickly.
- Have a Protein Drink First: Enjoy a Designer Wellness protein drink while cooking. Consuming 30g of protein can help decrease your hunger levels and make it easier to choose wisely when it comes to dishing out your meal. (1)
- Offer Lighter Alternatives: Prepare lighter versions of traditional dishes. For example, swap out heavy cream for Greek yogurt in recipes, use whole wheat flour for baking, or steam vegetables instead of sautéing them in butter.
- Limit Dessert Options: Instead of offering a wide variety of desserts, choose one or two healthier options. Fresh fruit platters, yogurt parfaits, or any Designer Wellness protein dessert can satisfy your sweet tooth without derailing your weight loss efforts.
Part 2: Planning for Holiday Meals You're Attending
- Eat Before You Go: Before heading to a holiday gathering, eat a small, balanced meal or snack like Designer Wellness Protein Smoothie or Protein Drink. This will help curb your appetite and reduce the likelihood of overindulging when you arrive.
- Choose Wisely: At the event, survey the food options before filling your plate. Prioritize the dishes that you want most and balance them with leaner options that are rich in nutrients. You can still enjoy your favorite special dish, load up on vegetables and lean proteins next to it.
- Practice Mindful Eating: Slow down and savor each bite. Try to put your fork and spoon down between bites to help you slow down. Enjoy the conversation and company while eating. This mindful approach can help you recognize when you're full, preventing overeating.
- Limit Alcohol: Alcohol can contribute to excess calorie consumption. Stick to one or two drinks, choose lower-calorie options like wine or light beer, and alternate with water to stay hydrated. I recommend having water in one hand and your alcoholic drink in the other so you can alternate.
Part 3: Organizing Your Schedule to Include Exercise
- Prioritize Exercise: The holiday season is often a busy time, but don't let that be an excuse to skip your workouts. Schedule your exercise sessions in advance and treat them like important appointments.
- Shorter, Intense Workouts: Consider shorter, high-intensity workouts if your schedule is particularly tight. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) and circuit training can provide effective results in less time.
- Plan Active Gatherings: Suggest active holiday activities with family and friends. Instead of sitting around, go for a group hike, play a game of touch football, or take a post-meal walk together.
- Home Workouts: If you can't make it to the gym, utilize home workout videos or apps. Many require minimal equipment and can be done in the comfort of your home.
The holiday season doesn't have to be a time when your weight loss goals go out the window. With the help of Designer Wellness Protein and planning your holiday meals thoughtfully, you can stay on track while still enjoying the festive season. Remember that balance, moderation, and high-quality proteins like Designer Wellness Protein Smoothies and shakes are key. Enjoy the season, and stay on the path to a healthier, happier you!