Hello, holiday season. October, November, and December seem to creep up on us every year, and all of the sudden the halls are decked and there’s an excess of sugary treats on every kitchen counter and office snack table.
While the holidays come with lots of joy, they also come with lots of stress when you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight. We get it. Refusing grandma’s homemade desserts is a near-impossible task, especially when everyone else at the table is scarfing down chocolate cake like there’s no tomorrow.
If you have the right tools in your toolbelt and the right strategies up your sleeve — like the ones our patients learn at Snow Bariatric Center — maintaining weight loss through the holidays is a breeze. To start off on the right foot, keep these three big tips in mind at your next holiday gathering.
1. Don’t overly restrict yourself
To those in the midst of a weight loss program, this tip probably sounds counterintuitive. Weight loss is all about eliminating delicious foods, right?
Nope! Studies show that while restrictive diets can kickstart weight loss and help you lose a lot of weight quickly, more flexible diets support long-term adherence — and adherence is the number one factor for maintaining weight loss on any diet.
The key here is to find a balance that works for you. For example, if you know for a fact that your sweet tooth hits in the evening, make sure to fill the morning and afternoon with low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods (AKA, lots of veggies) so you can enjoy a treat without going over your calorie needs.
2. Amp up your exercise routine
Most of us consume extra calories every day during the holiday season. One way to combat those extra calories without feeling like you have to restrict yourself is to add a bit more exercise in.
This doesn’t mean you have to hit the weight room for two hours a day. It can look rather simple, actually. For instance, if you currently walk for 30 minutes three times per week, try walking for 45 minutes four times per week. That’s nearly two extra hours of exercise each week!
The holiday season is a fantastic time to start up an exercise regimen if you don’t already have one. Getting in some movement every day can boost your health morale and help you stick to your weight loss plan.
3. Limit alcohol and get enough sleep
If you like to enjoy a drink or two, that’s no problem. But, we know alcohol lowers inhibitions, and the first inhibitions to go are often food-related. A night of excessive drinking can set you up for a pre-sleep indulgence — plus, alcoholic drinks themselves are often high in calories.
In the same vein, drinking alcohol often equates to a late night. Not only does lack of sleep mess with the hormones that control your appetite, but sleep deprivation is known to encourage poorer food choices. When we’re tired, we tend to want sugary, carb-heavy, or fatty foods for quick bursts of energy and a hit of endorphins to battle the low moods that come with poor sleep.
Do you need accountability to get you through the holiday season without gaining weight? Schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Snow today by calling one of our convenient Texas locations or request an appointment online.