The holidays are the time of year when you look forward to eating some of your favorite foods and beverages you normally don't have all year long. But like many Americans, you’re probably concerned about gaining a few pounds. Weight loss expert Liz Josefsberg says her clients tell her that in the past, they tended to gain about five pounds around the holidays if they weren't being watchful of their weight. If you want to be mindful of your caloric intake this season but still make room for your favorite treats, try these strategies to help you feel your best all season long.
“The first thing I do with clients is look at their weekly calendar,” says Josefsberg. “We look at all the parties and social events scheduled and usually, it’s not that bad.” Maybe there are only two parties that week. There might be only six celebrations in the month of December. If you’re going to a party and know the host makes the best eggnog and you only have it once a year, then plan for it and enjoy it. You're not going to gain weight from having a cup of eggnog or one piece of apple pie,” says Josefsberg. Planning and balancing out your intake is key this month.
“I always encourage people to weigh themselves throughout the month,” says Josefsberg. “There’s nothing wrong with going up three to five pounds, but I know on my body that takes about four to six weeks to get that off.” Remember, it went up a little at a time and it’ll go down a little at a time.
Since walking is an excellent form of cardio and doesn't require a gym membership, special equipment, or expensive accessories, it's a great option during the holiday season. Take a look at the graphic below to find out how long it takes to walk off your favorite treats. Maybe you can park your car in the furthest lot when you head to the holiday party, walk to and from your family gathering, or invite your friends to do a few laps with you at the mall when you go shopping for presents. There are countless ways to get some extra steps in and you'll feel good knowing you're offsetting the calories in those holiday treats. Heading out to a cookie swap? Print this cheat sheet to reference when you're out and about.
Graphic by Jessica Namdar