3. Don’t skip meals or bank calories.
“Skipping meals prior to your gathering in order to eat more can actually backfire,” said Dr. Steele. “This can lead to frequent snacking and overindulging.”
4. Fill up on healthy vegetables and foods first.
While no food needs to be off limits, make it a goal to eat healthy foods first. This will help to minimize your intake of less nutritious foods.
5. Practice mindful eating.
Stop eating when you are almost full. Wait at least 20 minutes before eating more. If you’re going to have less nutritious foods, eat smaller portions. This will allow you to enjoy your food – and party – more.
6. Be careful with alcohol intake.
While alcohol should be avoided during your weight loss journey, if you are to have a drink, set a limit. Alcohol intake can lead to poor food choices and overeating. “When in doubt, substitute your alcoholic drink for a non-alcoholic one,” said Dr. Steele.
7. Stay hydrated.
Aim to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day. “You can infuse your water with seasonal fruits, like cinnamon and pear, cranberries and mint, or orange and pomegranate, to add a festive touch and help you drink more,” said Dr. Steele.
8. Get active.
Plan ahead and schedule your exercise. “You can even start new active traditions that don’t revolve around food,” said Dr. Steele. A few suggestions? “Hiking, holiday fun runs or walks, walking the luminaries at the Botanical Garden, ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo or even going for a walk around your neighborhood are great ways to exercise while also enjoying your loved ones.”
9. Remember the importance of sleep.
Lack of sleep can impact your metabolism and can lead to less impulse control (think less sleep = more cookies) so it’s important to make sure you get good, restful sleep during this busy time of the year.
10. Get back on track right away.
“Gaining weight, giving into impulses and cravings or less physical activity does not mean that your weight loss journey is over,” said Dr. Steele. Tomorrow is a new day to restart your usual eating and get back on track.
“You can be successful with your weight loss journey during the holiday season by planning ahead,” said Dr. Steele. “Shifting your focus from food to new traditions, family and loved ones can help bring joy back to the holidays.”