Simple Tips to Maintain a Healthy Weight During the Holidays

A healthy and balanced diet is essential for anyone. Despite this, many cannot afford to have one. Our World in Data reports that at least 3 billion people experience this so called ‘hidden hunger’ — a collective term for the deficiencies in major nutritional requirements like iron, vitamin A or calcium. While this is mainly caused by the lack of affordable, healthy dietary options in the market, many people still suffer from it because they tend to mainly consume starch-rich foods that lack essential nutrients.

Now that that holidays is just around the corner, many tend to indulge (or overindulge) with delicious treats and comfort foods during family gatherings, company parties or get together with friends. While there is no shortage of fancy food, drinks and opportunities to dine, our healthy weight often suffers. Yes, this is the season when most if not, all of us overeat.

Fortunately, you can still maintain our healthy weight or even lose some by creating new eating habits. Weight Watchers points out that effective weight loss programs simply need to integrate healthier choices into what you already like to eat. Ultimately, it’s all about building better habits, not spending on fancy or more expensive ingredients. With this in mind, we’ve gathered some simple, healthy and low-cost tips that will help you lose weight and still enjoy the process.

Use Smaller Dishes

In order to eat healthy without feeling completely restricted and guilty while still enjoying delicious food, it’s best to control your portions. One trick for this is to use smaller plates. Even when you emptied a small plate, technically, you ate less already. It also gives you the feeling that you’ve already finished one big complete meal. Thus, you don’t crave for more.

Eat More Mindfully

Being fully present while eating (being mindful) gives your brain enough time to realize that your body has had enough food. One way to practice this is to pause during meals by putting down your utensils and waiting for a bit before taking another bite. If in that period of time you feel that you’re already full, it’s okay not to pick up that fork again and eat more.

Cut Down on Sugar

Sugar can make you eat more than what your body needs. Health.com expounds on the disrupting effects of sugar intake on your body’s regulation of insulin. Unstable insulin can increase hunger and even slow down the metabolic rate of the body. You can start cutting down on these simple sugars with the mentioned cheap and healthy carb alternatives in our “7 Days of No Sugar Challenge” like oven baked potatoes and quinoa. Additionally, rather than grabbing a sweetened yogurt or juice for your midday snack, you ca whip up a smoothie with simple but nutritious ingredients like flax milk and banana.

Drink More Water

This zero-calorie option helps you feel full which help you consume fewer calories. Opt to drink at least a glass before every meal to lower the amount of food your stomach can handle. But having more water, it sends a signal to the brain to stop eating. Additionally, sometimes, the body mistakes thirst for hunger. Whenever you get cravings, drink water first. This way, you’ll avoid snacking when your body doesn’t really need it.

Sleep More and Longer

A non-dietary method that helps you consume fewer calories is getting a more restful sleep. JAMA Internal Medicine published a study on sleep-weight loss correlation proving that longer sleeping hours yield a reduced calorie intake. Some of the best habits out there that help you sleep better and longer include observing a consistent sleep-wake cycle, keeping your room dark, and stopping the use of digital screens before bedtime. You can even use sleep apps that track these habits and provide meditative music to help you fall asleep.

Losing weight can be challenging especially during the holidays. With these tips, you can not only enjoy the festivities, you can also maintain your weight or even lose a few before the new year.

Contributed post by Patricia Wright

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