5 Holiday Pitfalls, and How to Avoid Them

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Photo by: LauriPatterson

LauriPatterson

During the holidays you’ll come face to face with glutinous amounts of food, mountains of sugar-filled desserts, and bottomless glasses of booze. Before you get caught up in calorie-filled holiday madness, be aware of what you may face so you’ll be able to fit into your pants come the New Year.

Pitfall #1: Overscheduling

Heading to party after party can lead to an overindulgence of food night after night. It’ll also eat into your exercise time, which is never a good idea, especially throughout the holidays.

Avoid it: It’s okay to say no. Attend those parties you really want to be at and those you must attend (like work), but schedule time to exercise too.

Pitfall #2: Overindulging

The holidays are a time for nostalgic dishes that make you feel good. These foods are also high in calories and artery-clogging saturated fat, but that doesn’t usually stop most folks from going back for seconds and even thirds.

Avoid it: Use my two-tablespoon rule. Choose 1 or 2 items that you must have and take 2 tablespoons of it. This way you don’t feel deprived, but are still in control of portions.

Pitfall #3: Boozing

Especially during the holidays, “just one drink” can easily turn into 2 or 3 a night, and that can add up to hundreds — or even thousands of calories you really didn’t need.

Avoid it: Mixed drinks tend to rack up the calories quickly, so opt for wine or beer, which don’t have sugary mix-ins. Accompany your drinks with a little food, and sip on water in-between drinks to space the alcohol out.

Pitfall #4: Over-noshing

Holidays are all about the appetizers, and these finger foods can rack up calories with a few small bites. Fried goodies, creamy dips, and piles of cheese platters can have you rolling home with a busted pant button.

Avoid it: Don’t arrive at any shindig hungry. Always grab a healthy snack like a fruit, Greek yogurt, or half a PB&J sandwich before heading out the door.

Pitfall #5: Stressing

One of the biggest contributors to overeating is stress. The holidays are a time when people tend to get riled up which causes your body to produce a cortisol, a hormone which can increase appetite. Being surrounded by indulgent holiday dishes isn’t any help during times of stress, and indulging on high calorie foods can lead to weight gain.

Avoid it: Give yourself a break for “me” time, even if just for an hour. Take a warm bath, get a manicure, or take a quick nap to help decrease your stress during the holidays.

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