Helpful Hints for the New Year Ahead

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by Jen Kavanagh

Traditionally, it’s tough to stay on track with your healthy eating goals and resist temptation during the holiday season. 

Statistically, the average person gains 6-8 pounds, which continues to fuel the #1 New Year’s resolution time and time again— to lose weight. 

Even though the crux of the holiday engagements are behind us, we still have New Year’s, Super Bowl, and ensuing winter gatherings. Below are some simple tips to help you avoid gaining extra pounds this year, so you can stay on track to make consistently good choices and continue feeling great.

One of the most important things that will help you the entire winter season is to plan ahead. For every party, event, family gathering or evening out, plan ahead and set rules for yourself. It really works! Here’s how:

  • Only have one drink, then switch to water
  • If you are eating out, look at the menu ahead of time so you can plan.
  • Fill your plate once with what you want to eat. Don’t go back for seconds.
  • Holidays and parties are for getting together with family and friends. Don’t make it about over-indulging on food. Be present to the conversation to avoid mindlessly snacking while conversing, as this can lead to consuming hundreds of extra calories. Step away from the food and enjoy the people around you.
  • Be deliberate about what you choose to eat. Choose foods that you really want and are worth the calories. Enjoy them, but don’t overdo it. Your brain registers pleasure from food in the first three bites. After that it’s just piling on needless calories
  • Plan to exercise or get extra steps in the day of any event where you’ll be eating more.

Another great thing to do is to create healthy habits to replace those not-so-great habits. This will last you a lifetime and go a long way to help you through the winter months and prevent weight gain season after season, party after party.

If you don’t want to overdo it on wine, put some seltzer or kombucha in a wine glass and drink that instead. Drink water first thing in the morning and throughout your day. 

Create mindful habits around food. Stop sampling food as you cook. Stop finishing your kids’ plates. If nighttime eating is a problem for you, change your routine. Go for a walk instead of sitting in front of the television. 

Become aware of and then eliminate the triggers that cause you to want to snack, overeat, or have an extra drink.

Bottom line: Enjoy the people around you when at parties and events. And allow the tastes of your favorite things so you don’t feel deprived. 

Set a goal to come out of the winter season the same weight or lighter than you were going in. It is definitely doable.

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