Managing nutrition during the holidays can be a challenge for anyone who is approaching a weight loss journey, but it is possible to adopt some "strategies" to avoid gaining weight and maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Obviously it is important to underline that the holidays only come once a year, and that they are above all a time to enjoy the company of friends and relatives: so don't get caught up in anxiety or guilt if you allow yourself to break the rules. It is certainly more important to adopt healthy eating habits that are maintained over time.
Useful tips for managing nutrition during the holidays
Planning is the key to the success of a food plan aimed at losing weight. Before attending a party or event, such as Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas lunch, plan the previous meals. Make sure you eat light, nutritious meals that include lean Protein, vegetables, whole grains (and maybe some fruit). This way you will arrive at the event without being terribly hungry, and you will be able to enjoy the meal without too much excess.
2) Control your portions
During the holidays it is quite common to find abundant tables of food, full of delicacies: if you want to avoid overdoing it, take small portions of the foods you like most and try to taste them slowly, enjoying every bite. Take the time to savor each bite and try to listen to your body to understand when you are truly full.
3) Choose with balance
Try to maintain a balance between the most delicious foods and the healthy ones: don't deprive yourself of anything and enjoy your favorite dishes, but complete them with healthy choices. Include vegetables, lean protein, and fiber to promote satiety and provide your body with essential nutrients.
And no, we're not talking about alcohol and toasts. Water is essential for maintaining an adequate water balance, which is very important for your health (and also for the feeling of satiety). Drink plenty of water during the holidays to avoid dehydration and instead limit the consumption of alcoholic and overly sugary drinks, rich in empty calories.
Don't forget to include physical activity in your holiday routine. You don't necessarily need intense training or who knows what kind of marathon: taking a walk after meals, participating in games with family and friends can already help you keep active and support your metabolism, while also burning a few extra calories.
6) Choose consciously
Be aware of the hunger and satiety signals your body sends you: eat slowly, savor every bite and try to listen to yourself, because it can help you avoid overeating. Also try to avoid distracting yourself while eating: away from televisions, iPads and telephones during meals, instead focus on the food and the sensations you feel.
7) Make healthy choices
If you like them, prefer baked or grilled foods rather than fried ones, avoid foods rich in sauces or caloric condiments and favor fresh fruit or desserts with fresh fruit instead of very sugary desserts.
But… is it really necessary to manage parties?
As we've already pointed out, the holidays only come once a year. It is good to enjoy the company of your loved ones without too much paranoia, but it is also true that if we have very clear and pre-established objectives, knowing how to manage them can be reassuring. It should be underlined, as always, that when talking about weight loss the first thing to take into account is always the calorie balance . If we eat more than we consume, we will find ourselves in a caloric surplus which over time will lead to increased body weight. If, however, we consume more than we are taking in, we will find ourselves in a calorie deficit (and consequently in the process of losing weight). However, there is good news: it takes around 14-20 days to increase body weight by 1 kg. This is because 1 kg corresponds to a surplus of 7000 kcal, achieved little by little with daily surpluses of 350-500 kcal. In fact, the body has a limited capacity to transform excess energy into body fat, so don't worry: holiday meals certainly won't affect your journey. It is not individual episodes but habits that change (for better or worse) our body composition.