The holidays are speeding ever closer, and not a day goes by when there's not a party or maybe drinks after work. Or someone decides to share Grandma's pecan pie or the cookies they baked last night.
And then there's football and all the partying that goes with cheering on our winning teams.
Sticking to your regular workout routines and healthier eating habits almost seems impossible.
The average person can easily put on an additional 5-10 pounds during these months, according to the experts at Ochsner Health System.
We all know how it works: More food plus less exercise equals gained weight.
Here's a few tips from Ochsner to help you stay on track (or at least mitigate the damage) this holiday season:
DON'T SKIP MEALS: Skipping meals trying to save up your calories for the party or event will most likely backfire. You will only become extremely hungry and consume more calories than you had anticipated. Temptations will set in and willpower will be out the window. Eat a small meal or snack with a full glass of water before the party. You will have much more control mentally and physically.
DON'T FOCUS ON FOOD: Make the event more about the people than the food. Since you're probably all dressed up, socialize and mingle. Don't ruin it by trying to balance a plate of finger food, chew on a chicken wing and talk at the same time.
MAKE HEALTHIER CHOICES: Stick with the fruit and veggie tray or cheese and meat tray. If it’s a buffet type of event, make yourself a small plate with a spoonful or two of your favorites. Leave it at that. No seconds.
WATCH THE ALCOHOL: If drinking alcohol, try to stick to light beer or wine. That’s about 90 to 150 calories per serving. Drink a glass of water in between each drink. Beware of fruity drinks or punch, which usually have lots of sugar.
STAND MORE THAN YOU SIT: We are easily tempted to eat and drink more if we are seated at a party table. You also burn more calories standing, so wear some comfortable shoes. Or better yet, get on the dance floor. You can burn several hundred calories while dancing. It also keeps you away from the food and drink table.
BANISH LEFTOVER: Sometimes you can do more damage with the leftovers than what you eat on the actual day of the event. Have to-go containers to readily share leftovers with everyone. Fill only one container for you to keep.
EXERCISE: Try to keep your workout routine as scheduled. If not possible, try to get it in the following day. If traveling, use the hotel gym, or, if visiting family and friends, walk around the neighborhood. Pack lightweight resistance bands to help maintain muscle strength.
REV IT UP: Add another workout day to your weekly routine. If you feel that you’ve eaten too many calories that day, you can burn them off and try to catch it before it begins to spread.
For information on how to keep your holiday healthy, visit ochsner.org.