My tips for surviving the holiday season without gaining (too much) weight

The holidays have always been an excuse for me to pig out. Why even try to say no to all the good food? “Resistance is futile” was always my motto during the Christmas season. I’ve been trying to make a difference this year and so far it’s been a huge success. Here are some of the ways I’ve been staying healthy and maintaining my weight over the holidays:

1. Move everyday.

It’s so much easier to give in to sloth mode and food coma during the holidays. Stay in, fire up Netflix and sip on hot chocolate the whole day. Sounds familiar? Although I do have the extra portion of lechon / turkey here and there, I make sure that I squeeze in at least one physical activity everyday. Whether it be a 30-minute Nike Training Club session at home or a 45-minute walk to the park, breaking a sweat helps me shake of the sluggishness from a big meal and gives me motivation to continue to live (and eat) healthier.

2. Drink tons of water.

Drinking two glasses of water before every meal keeps me from “blacking out” and stuffing my face with everything in sight. Whenever I consume at least 2 litres of water a day, I notice that I’m satisfied way faster during meals, plus my skin looks better the next day too (bonus!).

3. Don’t starve yourself to make up for a big meal later.

I used to skip meals if I knew I was going to a gathering with lots of food later on in the day, thinking that my calorie consumption will “even itself out.” Big mistake. I usually end up eating roughly twice as much of the unhealthy food than if I ate normal healthy meals throughout the day and just had single portions of well-chosen calorie-laden dishes at a dinner party. Because I’m too busy shoving food into my mouth when I’m starving, I don’t get to enjoy the taste of what I’m eating and feel like I need to get seconds even if I’m already full. This is compounded by the fact that your mind takes a bit of time to realise that your stomach is full. Once I stop to catch my breath, it’s usually too late and I’ve already overeaten.

4. Mind your portions.

Make sure half of your plate contains vegetables. Or if it’s a buffet, fill your first plate with a salad. Think of it as your ticket to eating the crispy pata or roast beef later on. You’ll notice that once you get to the “good stuff” you’re able to slow down to enjoy the taste and feel satisfied quicker. I sometimes also use a smaller plate because it forces me to stand up to get seconds – which means I have time to think if I really need another helping.

5. Share.

If you want to have a bite of the delicious cake or just a sip of champagne without overindulging, find someone to share it with. This not only avoids waste, it’s also a good way to bond with your BFF / partner (another bonus!).

Here’s to hoping I keep it up for the rest of the holidays so I wont’t have to add “lose the 5lbs I gained in December” to my New Year’s resolution list!

What are your tips for keeping your holidays healthy?

Wife and mom of 3 based in London. Born and raised in Manila. Blogging about motherhood and fitness.

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