Congratulations! You’ve been working hard to lose weight and are seeing results! You look and feel great! But it’s a long holiday weekend and you’ve been invited to BBQs and pool parties. That means multiple days of yummy food and drinks. But what about all the progress you made!? You don’t want to go backward and gain holiday weight.
Don’t panic, it’s ok! You can go to holiday parties AND maintain your weight loss. Trust me, I know. 23 years ago I lost 60 lbs. and have maintained my weight loss thanks to a few weight loss tips I picked up along the way. With these five tips to help you avoid holiday weight gain, you can have your cake AND eat it too! Remember, the holidays are a time to enjoy and celebrate, so it’s okay to indulge in moderation. The key is to find a balance that allows you to enjoy the festivities while also staying on track.
Set a plan to help you avoid holiday weight gain. The 4th of July falls on the same date every year, and you already know your favorite BBQ/party foods. Use apps like My Fitness Pal or other food trackers to research the number of calories/carbs/fats in these foods. Be honest and realistic with yourself. If you know you’re going to want a burger and chips, enter the amount of calories/carbs/fat for each item, including the condiments and any other items you want to add to the plate. Remember to think of desserts and drinks.
Once you have a rough estimate of how many calories/carbs/fat you want to consume, this will give you an idea of what you need to bank (save up).
Tip: Start planning early! If you know you have several BBQs/parties planned, add extra cardio workouts each day and/or cut a few calories/carbs/fat each day to add to your bank.
Engaging in physical activities during the long weekend can help you burn extra calories and maintain your weight loss. Take advantage of the weather by participating in fun activities like bike riding, rollerblading, swimming, beach volleyball, or even organizing family walks after big meals. Incorporate exercise into your routine to keep your metabolism active and offset any excess calorie intake.
Tip: The morning of the BBQ or holiday, do an extra round of cardio to bank up points so you can treat yourself to that extra roll or dessert.
Limit Liquid Calories
Alcoholic beverages, sugary sodas, and juices can quickly add up in terms of calories. Try to limit your intake of these high-calorie drinks and opt for healthier alternatives such as water, iced herbal tea, or unsweetened beverages. But let’s be real, it’s a long weekend and you’re probably going to want to consume alcohol. It’s ok. If you do choose to indulge in alcohol, low-calorie RTD (ready-to-drink cocktails like Owl’s Brew Boozy Teas and Tea Cocktails) are delicious and contain only 110 calories per can. I personally love the Skinny Hibiscus Margarita because it’s the perfect accompaniment for a holiday BBQ. You can’t count on the host having these low-calorie drinks, so swing by the store on the way and pick some up!
Tip: For every alcoholic drink, have a glass of water. You’ll fill up faster and flush your system of toxins.
Eat Your Fruits and Veggies
It’s tempting to indulge in comfort food and snacks like chips, rolls, and baked goods, but make sure to EAT YOUR FRUITS AND VEGGIES! Go towards the salads, colorful fruits, and vegetables FIRST. Pile them on your plate and start munching. Every time you grab food, make sure your plate has more fruits and veggies than ANYTHING else.
Tip: Veggies tend to be near the dips. STAY CLEAR OF THE RANCH! It’s filled with empty calories. Instead grab hummus, mustard, or use fruits like lemon, berries, and oranges to act as a “dressing” or “dip.” And remember, if you’re worried about the lack of veggies and fruit, bring your own!
Practice Portion Control
BBQs and pool parties tend to come with burgers, hot dogs, pizza, and other high-calorie foods, but practicing portion control is essential for managing holiday weight gain. I’m not saying to skip these foods, I’m just saying to limit your portions of them. Be mindful of your serving sizes and listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Instead of a normal plate, grab smaller plates or a bowl to visually trick your mind into feeling satisfied with smaller amounts of food.
Tip: Ok, this may sound harsh but this is what works for me… When put in a situation like a holiday BBQ or potluck, I know I am going to want to eat. To make sure I don’t overeat, after I get my first plate, I like to imagine someone sneezed all over the food table. The thought grosses me out and turns me away from the food. If that doesn’t work for you, imagine some other disgusting scenario that prevents you from overeating.
Take a deep breath. Relax. You got this!