Maintaining weight over the holidays

How to make a plan that’s manageable.

With all the office parties, family gatherings, and indulgent foods, losing weight over the holidays can be almost impossible. If we adjust our goal over the holiday season to instead focus on maintaining our current weight, we may find that is a lot more achievable – and setting realistic goals we can achieve is the key to long-term success.

So how do we make a plan to stay in “maintenance mode” over the holidays? Megan Casper, registered dietitian and owner of Nourished Bite Nutrition in Los Angeles, has some ideas.

 

Eat breakfast

 

“Make sure to have a healthy breakfast each day,” she advises. “While saving space for the big dinner ahead may seem like a good idea, going into a meal starving will lead you to eat down way more food than you planned and lead to poorer choices. Look for options high in protein, which can help cut cravings.”

 

Get a workout in

 

“Make sure to work out before a big holiday meal. Exercise reduces [the] hunger hormone ghrelin, which can curb your appetite later in the day,” Casper says. Plus, you can bank those FitPoints to spend on the special holiday foods you love.

 

Hydrate

 

While it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the whole year, Casper notes that drinking more water can help us maintain our weight during the holidays.

 

“Research has found that people who drink two glasses of water before a meal lose more weight and keep it off. This simple tip works in two ways – thirst can mask itself as hunger, causing you to eat more, and water makes you feel fuller, causing you to eat less during a meal.”

 

Brown-bag it

 

Okay, you don’t have to bring your own entire meal to a holiday gathering, but Casper recommends bringing a healthy dish so you know for sure you’ll have a healthy option available.

 

“Many holiday dishes tend to be smeared in butter and cream. Bring along some steamed green beans or a plate of crudités.”

 

Check out one of the 5,000 WW recipes on the website or in your app for some fun holiday inspo.

 

Do a little recon

 

Before you dig into a holiday meal, check out your options, Casper says. “Pinpoint a few of your favourite dishes and make sure to save some room to enjoy them. Try to fill half of your plate with fruit or veggies. Not only are they lower in calories, but the fibre in produce helps keep you full and slows down sugar spikes (so you may not need that after-dinner nap).”