Most people I know aren't worried about losing weight during the holiday season. Instead, this tends to be the one time of year when we give ourselves a break from obsessing about going down a pant size, and instead focus on maintaining weight.
But countering indulgence with some healthy habits may just help tip the scales in the other direction, without much effort on your part at all. Here are some tips that may help you lose weight this holiday season.
- Cut liquid calories. Cutting back on a glass of wine with dinner or that cold beer after a long day can reduce your overall daily intake by about 100 calories, making way for another few bites of that Christmas pie. Instead of soda or fruit juice, drink water with lemon, or herbal tea.
- Try a salad starter. One study, published in 2004 in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, found that women who started meals with a salad ate 10 percent fewer calories over the course of a day, without consciously dieting. [7 Salads to Add Veggies to Your Diet]
- Go nuts. Eating a handful of peanuts daily may help you keep weight off. In fact, people who ate peanuts or mixed nuts daily were more likely to keep from gaining weight than those who didn't consume high-fat snacks, according to a 2001 study in the International Journal of Obesity. Maybe those roasted chestnuts aren't such a bad idea.
- Just stand up. If you're planning to entertain this holiday season, sitting probably isn't a luxury you'll experience often, but the rest of us can use a reminder to get off the couch. The average person burns about 40 more calories per hour by standing than they do by sitting.
- Sleep soundly. A lack of sleep is often associated with weight gain, as well as metabolic problems, according to a study published this year in the journal Lancet. Be sure to get adequate shut eye around the holidays to help keep your metabolism healthy.
Healthy Bites appears weekly on LiveScience. Deborah Herlax Enos is a certified nutritionist and a health coach and weight loss expert in the Seattle area with more than 20 years of experience. Read more tips on her blog, Health in a Hurry!