Here’s are some numbers that‘ll blow your mind:
Food in December:
- Approximately 93 meals total (three meals a day for 31 days)
- Family holiday dinner: One meal, maybe two
- Holiday parties: Maybe five meals? (unless you’re way more popular than me…which is very possible)
- New Years Eve: One meal
That’s eight out of 93 meals that will likely be indulgent.
As a nutritionist, I see so many people wait until January to take care of their health and eat well because there are eight potential “unhealthy” meals in December.
The best way to keep the weight off during the winter months is to not let perfect be the enemy of good.
Your healthy diet isn’t “blown” because of a few select indulgences. It’s that kind of thinking that will sabotage your health and pack on pounds!
Here are some specific tips for keeping winter indulgences reasonable:
- Decide before you start eating (or even before you arrive at the celebration) what your treat will be. What’s your absolute favorite holiday sweet? Give yourself full permission to have one, but keep it to one normal serving and skip the other options that aren’t your favorite. No grazing, no guilt, plus no deprivation.
- Make half of your plate veggies every time. Vegetables are full of fiber, which helps cue your body to fullness. Even if you go back for a second plate, make half that plate vegetables!
- Hydrate! Between the egg nog, warm cider, and holiday wines, it can be easy to end up dehydrated (and on the low end of a blood sugar crash). Remember to drink plenty of water throughout every day, especially those special holiday meals and parties. A good rule of thumb is 65 to 80 oz. per day for women and 80 to 100 oz. per day for men.
Finally, to keep the weight off during these early winter months (and well into the new year), you’ve got to keep moving – physically. With busy schedules, shorter daylight, and colder weather, it can be easy to let movement and exercise routines go, but it’s more important now than ever!
Keep your movement routine simple. I can’t recommend outdoor walks enough! As my military dad always said (to my teenage woe), “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.” Layer up, let the cool wind brush your face, and observe how the holiday stress and seasonal darkness rolls off your shoulders and down through your moving feet as you reground.
Learn more about winter exercise here.