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Weight gain during Holiday Season — How to Avoid? | by Nutritionist Vasundhara Agrawal | Diet & Nutrition | Dec, 2021

Nutritionist Vasundhara Agrawal

Christmas and new year’s seasons are the most awaited days of the year. It brings the winter breeze and most comfortable winter food. People around the world have been celebrating this season as it marks the end of the year and brings about the joy of beginning a new year. Regardless of religion and tradition, people love decorating their homes with Christmas trees and lights, and has also been an activity for kids at school who would actively participate.

Christmas and new year foods are all the most comfortable foods loved by many of us. It is obvious that when on vacation you make sure to try everything special out there. but don’t you think weight gain is a very common problem during such days? If yes, it is true that eating habits and dietary patterns slightly or in some cases extremely take a wrong turn. Weight management during the holiday season is important because it not only prevents you from gaining those extra pounds but also from the guilt of eating.

How can you avoid weight gain in these holidays?

  1. Watch your portion sizes

As the holiday season is ready to kick start and includes family functions and friendly get-togethers with our favorite food and beverages. This leads to the feeling of overwhelming and portion control becomes difficult. This could possibly be one of the main reasons for weight gain. Eating and moderation is a very important habit to inculcate. Using smaller plates, making sure to not go for second and third servings, loading up vegetables first so as to ensure that it fills up tummy, preparing a healthier and low in calorie version of meals or treats can help you stay within the portion sizes.

2. Cut down high-fat foods from the diet

According to a New England journal of medicine, the average person gains about one to five pounds each year between Thanksgiving and the new year. The high fatty foods during this season are your favorite cakes, cookies, and pies. These fatty foods can be substituted with healthier versions and served. for example, Substituting refined flour with whole wheat flour or oat flour. substituting sugars with a healthier version like jaggery. Full fat creamy soups can be substituted with broth-based soups.

3. Practice mindful snacking

Snacking can be very frequent during holidays so it is important to watch out for the snack options. Nuts and seeds, fruits and berries, homemade desserts like dates with almond stuffing, roasted cinnamon nuts can be filling and healthy

4. Avoid processed food and opt for low-calorie foods

Processed foods often contain high sugar and saturated fats. it is best recommended to reduce the processed food intake. Whole foods and home-cooked food can help avoid weight gain. Any packed and ready-to-eat eat foods are not recommended. Replace butter with applesauce, pumpkin puree in your desserts, opt for dried fruits instead of chocolate chips or candies, flavor dishes with herbs and spices, go for sparkling water instead of sweetened beverages, opt for simple cooking methods. Balance your meals with protein and fiber as they help in better weight management.

5. Limit dessert and beverage intake

Desserts are seen everywhere duringthe holiday or festival season, which can lead to weight gain. Opting for favorite desserts and not trying every dessert that you see can help you avoid over consumption of sugar. try and eat mindful portions like one bite or one spoon of your favorite desserts. Beverages have hidden sugars in huge amounts. Consumption of these packed beverages or alcohol can exceed the number of calories and lead to excess weight gain. limit beverage intake to one glass at a party by sipping it all through the night.

6. Get plenty of sleep every day

Studies have proven that sleep is associated with the metabolism. To be active and mindful of the eating habits, getting enough sleep everyday is important. The lesser the sleep, the lower the metabolism. During your holidays or parties, try and take some place out to get that sleep for you to kick start your next day bright.

Healthier options to try and eat this holiday season

Is there anything better than spending time with family and friends enjoying delicious and healthy holiday treats? but all the baked foods have lots of unwanted calories. There are many healthier versions of desserts that can be enjoyed in moderation. They are key lime pie, brownies that includes whole wheat flour, cocoa, and banana as main ingredients. Dark chocolate pistachio tart with egg whites, pistachios, dark chocolate, and sea salt. Apple spice cake, cheese cake, quickly baked pears, pumpkin pie, turtle bars, mini raspberry tarts, tiramisu. All of the options can be substituted with whole wheat flour, oat flour, egg whites, flaxseed mix to avoid high-calorie dump.

The holiday season can be a lot more than just food, plan ahead for different activities to involve in with your friends and family. Throw parties with some healthy recipes, involve in your favorite hobby like painting, baking, etc. Being diligent with the weight goals during the holiday season can be very difficult but multiple tips and tricks can actually help you be healthy, happy, and weight-conscious during this time of the year. Happy holidays!


Portion Control: 10 Tips for Enjoying Holiday Dining

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