What’s Trending: Avoiding the holiday bulge

By: Paula Hendricks for the Granite Bay View
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I cannot emphasize enough the importance of making a plan to avoid weight gain during the upcoming holiday season. Many of you probably do just that, but many more of you probably don’t want to limit yourself and vow to go on a diet after New Year’s Day. What if I told you that you could make your dessert and eat it, too? 

You can. Just put a plan in place, the sooner the better. The store shelves are already stocked with delectable treats tempting you everywhere you turn. I have provided the following tips to help you create your plan of attack against the dreaded holiday bulge.

1.      Nibble – don’t gobble: Be conscience of how much and how fast you eat.  Slow down.  Chew.  Breathe.  Repeat.

2.      Be a guest: When you’re not the host, you will not be tempted with all those leftovers. Bring a healthy dish, maybe fresh greens, for everyone to enjoy.

3.      Have a potluck party: Your guests are welcome to bring what they wish but the best part is that the leftovers go home with them.  No temptations left for later.

4.      Make that special dessert: Enjoy your favorite holiday dessert so you don’t feel deprived but send the remainder home with someone or do the unspeakable - throw out the left-overs.   

5.      Limit yourself to one plate-full: Wherever you are, follow the one-plate rule. No seconds or super-sized plates allowed.

6.      Alcohol: Drink with caution. Alcohol can trick you into thinking you are hungry when you’re not. Tip:  for every glass of alcohol you drink, alternate with a glass of water.  This tip will keep you hydrated and you will likely drink less.

7.      Keep your exercise plan going full force: While exercise not only reduces stress, burns fat, improves muscle mass, and helps you sleep better, it will keep you mentally focused on your plan.

8.      Have a protein snack one to two hours before the big event: It’s easier to say no to foods you don’t normally eat when you are not ravenous.

9.      Eat breakfast: Start your morning right and keep yourself on track for the rest of the day.  Never skip this important meal.

10.  Eat out sensibly: Plan what you will eat before you head out and stick with it.

11.  Wear something snug at the waist during meals: This will help prevent overindulging.  No stretchy-waist pants allowed.

12.  Don’t skimp on sleep: Sleep deprivation will not help your weight or health plans, and puts you at risk for illness.  Say yes to sleep and if you have the opportunity, take a 20-minute power nap now and then. 

13.  Just say no thank you: It’s OK to say no to an invitation anytime you need. Take care of yourself and don’t overcommit. A day off to rest and relax with a good book or movie may be just what your body will need.

I am looking forward to cooler weather and lots of rainy nights kicking back with my husband, Ed, and our dog, Bogart, next to a crackling fire, with a good book and a stew cooking on the stove after a day at the office and a great workout.  Aw, the little pleasures in life.