The National Institute for Health estimates that the average American gains one pound from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Although this sounds like a trivial amount of weight, these extra ounces typically hang on for the rest of the year. After 10 to 20 holiday seasons, it becomes an issue. Each new year, many people grab hold to the very popular resolution of losing weight in the effort to battle the bulge, often with less than stellar results. Instead of dealing with the post holiday damage in a reactive state, it might be more beneficial to be proactive and challenge oneself to preventing weight gain from the start.
Portion control is a big culprit in why Americans gain weight. The average daily caloric intake for the average American has increased from 2100 calories to 2600 calories over the past 30 years. Over-eating has become a national past time. During the holidays, practicing portion control can help reduce potential weight gain. Some strategies include:
- Use smaller plates to trick the mind into believing more has been eaten
- At holiday parties, eat without distraction. Standing near the appetizer table is a dangerous place when trying to avoid extra calories. Strike up conversations away from the food.
- Check labels on the food you are eating at home. Unfortunately, most people are unaware we are eating 2-4 times portion sizes.
Outside of practicing portion control, there are other ways to control calories during this holiday season. Try the following damage control techniques:
- Be the chef. Eating out at restaurants in attending parties in shores that you’re not in control of what you eat. This year, host the holiday party and be sure to serve options that are tasty, but don’t break the calorie bank. Avoid creamy dip’s and up for those with a vegetable and or been base see the black bean salsa dip recipe below.
- Plan holiday celebrations with things that do not sit around eating and drinking. Celebrate the season with a jingle Bell 5K, a fun night of card games or making fresh wreaths with friends. Keeping hands occupied can help when Trying to avoid extra eating.
- Do your best to stick to a healthy eating plan with whole foods, avoiding processed foods as much as possible.
The important thing to remember, is that we are all human and we enjoy things that taste good! Enjoy your celebrations with balance, portion control and forgiveness. If you overindulge, forgive yourself and move on!
Black Bean Salsa Dip (ingredients):
- One can black beans, drained and rinsed well
- Two medium sized tomatoes chopped, or one can of Rotel
- 2 Tbsp of lime juice
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 cup of fresh salon cilantro chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped jalapeños optional
Mix all ingredients and serve with veggies or baked tortilla chips!!