4 ways to avoid holiday weight gain
There’s a lot we admire about Santa: His jolly nature, the way he rocks red velvet and his year-round hard work ethic in the factory to make sure toys are delivered by Christmas morning. That bowl full of jelly? Well, it looks great on him. But, we don’t blame you if you don’t want to loosen up your belt come January because of holiday weight gain.
A study from the National Institutes of Health shows the average person gains about one pound or less during the holiday season that runs from Thanksgiving to the New Year. But, those who are overweight or obese tend to gain more — about 5 pounds — according to the study.
Avoid holiday weight gain this season while still enjoying that eggnog and participating in those cookie exchanges. Here’s four tips for a healthy holiday.
Workout from home:
When the weather outside is frightful, an at-home workout can be delightful. Torch calories from the comfort of home with a BeachBody DVD or at-home workout. We especially love the Hip Hop Abs program — no sit-ups or crunches, just fun dance moves to define your mid-section. Along with the dance DVD’s, you’ll get a nutrition plan, workout calendar, measuring tape to track your progress and 24/7 online support. The key to working out from home? Make sure you schedule your workouts just like you would any other important meeting or appointment. Write it down in your calendar and stick to it. BeachBody Hip Hop Abs, $19.95, BeachBody.com
Catch the gingerbread man:
The gingerbread man taunts “can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man.” Credit that stealthy speed to the gingerbread being among the leanest and healthy cookies in the holiday offerings. Pass on the frosted, sugar cookies and go for gingerbread cookies instead. Ginger has many health benefits: It can help ward off cold and flu, lower cholesterol and act as an anti-inflammatory, which is great during a cold snap when our joints tend to ache.
For a fun holiday activity, build a gingerbread house! Harry and David’s Personalized Gingerbread Kit lets you customize a message on the treat. Harry & David Personalized Gingerbread House, $59.99, Harry & David
Bring a veggie to the table:
Asked to bring a dish to a holiday gathering? Make it a healthy one! Veggies are high in fiber and can help fill you up so you don’t overindulge during dinner or when the cookie tray is being passed. Arrange a veggie tray with celery, carrots, peppers, cauliflower, broccoli and tomatoes. Instead of creamy, rich dips, bring hummus or prepare your dip with Greek yogurt. (A yogurt substitution packs more protein and has fewer fat calories). Serve it up on a pretty, seasonal platter like this hand-painted Poinsettia Glass Platter.
Indulge in peppermint:
Peppermint has two powerful benefits that are great during the holiday season: It can help control your appetite while also reducing stress. A NASA-funded study found that the smell of peppermint reduced stress and anxiety by 20 percent. So before you grab that peppermint bark or pluck a candy cane from the tree, satiate the craving and enjoy the health benefits of peppermint with a cup of organic tea. Organic Peppermint Tea, 2 boxes for $4.49, Puritan’s Pride