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Registered Dietitian Tracey Hull Gives Helpful Tips On How To Avoid Packing On The Holiday Pounds

Nov 13, 2020 01:58PM ● By Tracey Hull
The holidays are upon us, but the extra five to fifteen pounds don’t have to be. You know the usual tips: limit the alcohol, more vegetables, and stand away from the buffet table. If these work for you, great. If not, let’s discuss four tricks that may continue long after the holiday season has ended. 


Do a Veggie Challenge

This sounds funny, but focusing on what you can eat rather than what you can’t eat is much more motivating. Setting a goal, such as eating 4 cups of vegetables a day, naturally leaves less space for sweets and treats. Because of this challenge, you will be so focused on vegetables that the annual New Year’s pizza will go unnoticed. Instead of riding the junk food roller coaster, you’ll feel proud, accomplished, and healthy. It’s a win-win.

And if you love competition – get your friends to join in on the challenge. Your motivation will skyrocket.


Set Boundaries: If It’s Not Delicious, Don’t Eat It

When visiting family, why is it that we feel obligated to eat grandmother’s sickeningly sweet Cherry Cordials or our mother-in-law’s Candied Yams? If you don’t love it, then don’t eat it.

Mediocre food is not worth an expanding waistline. Instead, choose foods you enjoy, and cherish them. Savor the experience by seeing the colors and textures, smelling the aroma, feeling the crunch or creaminess in your mouth, and tasting the complexity of each flavor. Experience the food with joy instead of drowning it in guilt. This makes time with family more enjoyable, whether you like them or not.


Keep Your Hands Occupied

Holiday parties are full of temptations, but a good way to stay focused is with two hands on a water glass. Drinking more water not only keeps you hydrated, but it fills your stomach, combats fatigue, and keeps you active with frequent trips to the bathroom.

Those sneaky hands have a way of picking up snacks when you’re deep in conversation. Holding the water glass keeps them out of trouble and you in control. Although alcohol may be the beverage of choice, often one drink leads to two, and poor foods choices are likely to follow. So, opt for water with lemon or sparkling water if that’s your thing. Even spicing up your seltzer with a splash of juice can help keep you on track.


A Good Night’s Sleep

Who knew food and sleep were related? What happened the last time you booked the early flight from Boston Logan Airport after a long work week? Did Dunkin Donuts suddenly look enticing? It doesn’t end there. The rest of the day can be filled with sweets, breads, greasy foods, and skipping the gym? Healthy eating always starts on Monday, so the indulgence continues through the weekend.

Although you may function on five hours of sleep once-in-a-while, the long-term effects can be catastrophic. If eight hours seems excessive and you find yourself tossing and turning after going to bed an hour earlier, try increasing by 15-minute increments instead. You may find seven hours feels good, or maybe you need nine hours. Everyone has different needs that may even change with the seasons.

Tracey Hull is a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Health Coach, if you'd like to reach out to her for more helpful hints or for more information, see below.

Facebook Page: @traceyhullRD


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