‘Tis the season of parties, feasts and daily temptations to abandon your healthy eating plan. You deserve to celebrate and indulge in the pleasures of the holiday. You’ve been eating well and have stayed focused on your weight loss goals. But you don’t have to let go of all the progress you’ve made to enjoy the season. Avoid these common mistakes so that you can have all the fun with none of the regret.
Here are five holiday hiccups that could sabotage your weight loss goals:
1. Don’t go holiday hungry.
You might think that skipping meals before a party will “save” you calories. But when you are ravenously hungry and standing in front of a buffet table of high calorie goodies, you’ll find it hard to resist piling it on.
Eat your regular Nutrisystem meals and snacks on party days and then load up your plate with (unlimited!) non-starchy vegetables. Indulge in just a few bites of the treats you love the most. Better yet, offer to bring Skinny Spinach Dip, Loaded Potato Skins or one of our other favorite appetizers here on The Leaf Weight Loss Blog. No one else will notice they’re as nutritious as they are delicious.
2. Little tastes are too much.
When you’re cooking and baking for family and friends, you want everything to be just right. Naturally, you’ll have the urge to sample food as you are preparing it and getting ready to put it on the table. But a taste here and a little bite there can add up, gradually increasing your portion size without you even noticing. Instead, ask family members or guests to be your testers. They will be happy to help and you can enjoy the whole meal at the same time as everyone else.
3. Drink wisely.
Wine, beer and spirits can add to the festive mood of any get-together. However, excess drinking can leave you with more than a hangover. Alcohol loads you up with empty calories and can overstimulate your appetite, leading to unhealthy food choices.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t have a drink on the Nutrisystem program. Keep the calorie count as low as possible by choosing dry wines, light beers and cocktails made with seltzer rather than sugary mixers. Nutrisystem recommends a maximum of two servings of alcohol per week. Try to spread them out on separate days.
Click the link below to learn more about alcohol and weight loss:
4. Get to bed.
Who can sleep when there’s so much to do? The long days and late nights of the holiday season can wear you down, which has a direct effect on your weight. According to Healthline, inadequate sleep increases your risk for weight gain and obesity. They explain that lack of sleep increases the production of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite. That can cause you to feel hungry even after your body is nourished. Help yourself stay on track by ensuring that you get plenty of shut-eye between all the preparations and parties.
5. No jumping to January.
If you are considering giving up on your healthy eating plan for the holidays and picking it up again in the new year, think about all the time and effort you’ve already put in. You’ve retrained your appetite and your metabolism and every healthy meal you eat is another step toward your goal.
If you keep in mind all that you’ve been learning about smart food choices throughout your journey, you can still enjoy the celebration season. You’ll be giving yourself a gift you’ll always treasure: a happier, healthier you.