10 Holiday Eating Tips to Help Weight Loss Maintenance

To maintain your weight loss during the long 6-week holiday season, you are still  better off planning and packing your food as much as possible.   You don't have to eat perfectly but it will help you to be more consistent.  You don't want to lose the fat-burning progress you've made during the year.

The holidays and good food go together.  This article will help you navigate through the "food minefield" until January!  You can enjoy plenty of food treats and still maintain your pre-holiday weight.  Of course, regular exercise will help you manage your weight during the long holiday season.  

I always say, "don't skip your workouts!"  Workouts can cover many eating mishaps.  If you skip too many workouts, your "downslide" can happen fast and the weight can pile on in a hurry. Don't let a good year of workouts "go to pot" during this long holiday stretch! 

You can easily put on 20-30 pounds if you're not careful.....or you could maintain the weight loss and fat loss you've worked so hard to attain. 

Here are 10 great reasons to plan your holiday eating:

1. Keep eating-on-the-run at a minimum. Eat better and save money.  One of the biggest mealplan-busters is "eating-on-the-run." That usually turns into a disaster as far as your calorie count is concerned. There is no planning and you end up eating what taste good...."taste good foods on the run" many times equates to fat-filled, nutrient-thin and calorie-rich foods. Even more, you end up wanting to eat more just a short time later.

2. Healthy eating habits help you burn fat and lose/manage weight loss. When you eat whole, natural foods, you are filled for a longer period on less calories. Whole, natural foods have one ingredient, like fresh fruits, fish, nuts and veggies.

3. When you pack your foods, you are less likely to go long periods of time without eating. The food is always right there with you. Eating every 3-4 hours maintains your energy and keeps your metabolism active throughout the day.

4. You can eat protein with every meal when you plan. Protein helps you stay full for longer and helps keep carbs from spiking your blood sugar.  Protein also gives you:

a. Increased Thermic Effect of Feeding –
 All the foods we eat require energy to be broken down and absorbed in the body, but this “thermic effect” for protein is about twice as high as it is for carbohydrates or fats.  A higher protein intake essentially means increased metabolic rate and heightened fat burning when dieting.

b. Increased Satiety – A diet higher in protein leads to greater feelings of fullness and being satisfied.

c. Increased Glucagon – Glucagon is a hormone that counteracts the effects of insulin in fat tissue. While insulin can blunt the body’s ability to burn fat and instead tell it to STORE fat, glucagon produces the opposite effect, which means more fat burning. Essentially, glucagon is responsible for decreasing the body’s ability to make and store fat in fat cells and in the liver. This again means more fat burning and less fat storage.

5. Similarly, you can eat enough fiber and healty fats during the day. Just pack fruits and vegetables and eat them with each meal. A fruit, like avocado, is a great source of healthy fat.

6. If you will pack water and unsweetened tea, you will have no need to drink sugary, belly-fattening drinks.

Water does a body good!  Somehow, its not easy to drink enough water every day.  About 2/3 of your body is water. Drink about half your weight in water every day. So, if you weigh 160 pounds, drink about 80 ounces of water each day.  Drinking water can help you eat less.

Remember, certain foods contain large amounts of water. This counts toward your water intake. For instance watermelon is about 90% water and lettuce has about 95% water. Some meats contain as much as 70% water.

Water also helps your body flex muscles, remove wastes, cushion joints, carry nutrients and oxygen to your cells and helps convert food into energy (although water doesn't provide energy). 

You may be experiencing dehydration if you have dry lips/mouth, dizziness, headache, nausea or muscle cramps. When you exercise, drink about a cup of water every 15 minutes.

7. This tip for party planning during the holidays:

a.  Eat one serving of food.  Fill up on protein-filled foods first which helps you eat less.  
Don’t enjoy your holiday gatherings and parties too much.  Eat one serving of food on a plate.  Avoid grazing (unless its at the vegetable/fruit tray).  Eating haphazardly at a party will put tons of calories in your belly.

b. Watch your alcohol consumption.  
First, one gram of alcohol provides 7 calories. Only fat (9 cal/g) provides more calories than alcohol. So, when you are planning your food and drink consumption, don't forget the calories from alcohol.

When you take a drink of alcohol, your body converts a small amount of it into fat and the rest is converted (by the liver) into a substance called acetate. This acetate is then quickly released into the bloodstream and used as the body's main source of energy.

So, your body is using the acetate for energy instead of the stored fat in your body. The more you drink, the more fat your body will store (many times belly fat)!

Added to this problem is the fact that alcohol consumption can increase your appetite. Researchers from Denmark found that a group of men ate more when they were served beer or wine and they ate less when served a soft drink. Just think of all the high-calorie meals served with alcohol at a place like a sports bar!

c.  Don't take an empty stomach to the party.  
You know how you don’t go to the grocery store on an empty stomach?  The same rule applies to holiday eating parties.  Empty stomachs want to devour food.  

8. Weekend planning and packing your meals helps you avoid food binges or emotional choices.

9. You are more likely to eat healthy snacks like low-fat Greek yogurt, nuts or smoothies, if you plan your food.

10. You are more likely to journal your food when you plan.
 Research has proven that you will have a better chance of succeeding with your meal plan and fat loss if you keep a food journal.

By logging your actual food choices, you are holding yourself accountable throughout the day.  It will also help protect you from binge-eating and emotional eating if you write down why and what you eat. Once you get a good feel for how you need to eat, you won't need a daily food journal.

Eat better, feel better and look better!  Don't Wait Until January!

Be sure and download your Free Bodyweight 500 Metabolic Fat Burner Workout Book below and start shaping your body faster! There are 3 levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. You will also get fat-burning menus!

About Mark


Mark Dilworth is a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and since 2006 he has owned Your Fitness University, Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut.

Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.

Popular Posts