How to Avoid Gaining Weight This Holiday Season - Mature Health Center

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Originally published December 30, 2015, last updated December 30, 2015

How to Avoid Gaining Weight This Holiday Season

It’s easy to get carried away during the holidays. This is as true for your gift purchasing as it is for your consumption of holiday sweets, but purchasing too many gifts will not add to your waistband. Keeping your weight down through the holidays doesn't mean ignoring all those dinners and deserts you look forward to year after year. You can still enjoy the gifted fudge while keeping in control. Just remember to be as focused on your health as your food.

Go into the holidays this year ready to taste what you have been looking forward to, but keep conscious about how you do it.

Here are a few tips for keeping the weight off this holiday season while enjoying the best of it:

Don't skip to save
You might think that you are doing yourself a favor by skipping breakfast, because you know that big holiday feast is only a handful of hours away. Skipping meals is not the answer. In fact, eating breakfast will help you keep the weight off later because it will get your metabolism started in the morning. If you don't eat until your family feast, you aren't starting your metabolism until then, and that is a lot to take in. Eat breakfast every day, but especially when you are planning for a large meal later. Your body will be able to digest the meal more easily and readily, as opposed to storing it for later, which is how it becomes fat.

Chew slowly
Chewing slowly can be more difficult than simply saying no, because you are already tasting it, which makes your taste buds want more. Best Health Magazine states by chewing your food more slowly you are giving your body a chance to keep up. If you eat too fast, you will be full before you feel full, and then you will overeat. Slow down and enjoy each bite. Taking slow breaths between bites will help.

Use smaller plates
Using smaller plates can be especially easy if you are preparing or serving the meal. Using smaller plates will help keep portions small, giving you the option to not choose seconds. Sure, you could just fill up a small plate again, but remember why you chose the small plate to begin with. Also, your brain will associate the whiteness of the empty plate as being full if you chew slowly. Don't rush through that small plate, enjoy it.

Pregame with water
Liquids help curb your appetite, so drinking a full glass of water before your meal will aid you in feeling a bit full. Since it is only water, you aren't filling up on the wrong things. This doesn't mean chugging a bunch of water immediately before sitting down. Rather, in the time leading up to the meal, sip on a glass of water until you have finished. It will prepare your stomach to take in less during the actual meal.

Meditating is important and beneficial to you for countless reasons. By meditating, you are being silent with yourself and focusing on your thoughts. In this instance, listen to your hunger, says Do you really need more helpings at dinner? Recognize your amount of hunger and maintain that focus throughout the meal. Never forget to listen to yourself, as your body is always right.

Go into the holidays ready to eat and enjoy. Overdoing it can ruin more than your waistline, it can damage your mental health too. Keep both your body and mind clear this holiday season and be ready to approach the New Year with confidence.

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