'Tis the season to be jolly! But no need to binge at every Christmas buffets and end the holidays with a Santa belly. Here are 25 Christmas Tips to help you maintain your diet and even lose weight as you continue to enjoy all the parties you have to attend.
Not only will these tips keep the pounds off this Christmas, they are also great to keep in mind all year round.
Smart substitutions. When cooking for yourself, use ingredient substitutes that will not only make recipes taste better, but have fewer calories too. For example, instead of sugar, use agave or honey. As a bonus, honey, which is high in fructose, helps to burn alcohol faster, making it a natural hangover cure.
Make those calories count. 300 calories of sugar from fruits is not the same as 300 calories from candies and sweets. Make sure you're eating the right kind of calories.
Easy on the alcohol. Wine, beer, eggnog, champagne, sodas, and other liquid calories pack in the sugar and fat even faster than you realize.
The more you eat, the more you should move. Walk, jog, exercise. It's ok to indulge, just make sure you keep moving to burn the extra food you eat too.
Keep snacks out of the house. You know you'll be eating a lot at Christmas parties so keep the unhealthy stuff out of your home. Don't feel bad about indulging on munchies at parties - Hey, we're all entitled to a cheat day once in a while. Just don't make it a habit.
Don't starve yourself the next day. Starving will actually cause your body to hang on to extra calories and fat even more, and will cause you to overeat next time.
Eat healthy in-between parties. Oatmeal for breakfast, nuts and dried fruits as snacks. Keep eating small, healthy meals throughout the day when you're not partying to keep your metabolism up.
Portion control. It's ok to have that slice of grandma's special Christmas cake. Just get a smaller slice of it.
Smart choices. Make sure you eat more veggies than chocolates and candy canes.
Drink water. Have a glass of water first thing in the morning when you wake up and whenever you think you're hungry throughout the day. Often times, those hunger pangs you feel are actually thirstiness.
Eat until your 80 percent full. If it's hard for you to feel what 80 percent fill is like, then only eat 1/3 of your plate (but take the rest home in a doggie bag).
Mingle and chat it up at parties. When you're busy talking and catching up with family and friends away from the food table, you can't put food into your mouth, can you?
Eat more protein and fiber which will keep you feeling fuller, longer.
Bring your own snacks to parties, like pre-cut veggies and low-fat dip to munch on.
Don't wear lose clothing to hide the belly. Snug clothes will force you to hold in your gut, exercising the muscles and forcing you not too eat too much all at the same time.
Chew gum while cooking and at parties. Not only will your breath smell minty fresh, it will also prevent you from munching on finger foods all night.
Don't shop when you're hungry. Like Santa, keep a list of nice things to eat, check it twice. And stick to it.
Shop for gifts online. What does this have to do with eating? Well, when you shop from the comfort of home, not only will you avoid the crowd and line-ups at the mall, you will also resist the temptation to go for the unhealthy, convenient, fast food joints at the food court.
Use smaller plates at buffets. Studies have shown that when you place food on smaller plates, the brain feels fuller faster.
Be a nibbler and keep the tastiest treats limited to 2 bites. Some researchers suggest that by the third bite, taste buds begin to dull flavors so no point in scarfing down something that you don't even taste anymore.
BUT don't nibble on too many things! Too much variety in flavor can make you think you want to eat more. So limit yourself to your favorites and pass on the rest.
Get enough sleep. Getting enough hours of sleep helps to regulate hormones that keep hunger and appetite in check. If you are hosting a party, know that all your guests are having the same Christmas weight gain woes as you are. So offer healthy foods and snacks.
And a partridge in a pear tree - or better yet a Christmas Turkey which has leaner meat is a healthier choice for a Christmas feast - just don't smother the bird in butter and other fattening stuffing.
Lastly, make realistic weight loss resolutions and stick to them.