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LifeTopix Tips for Managing Your Weight During the Holidays

LifeTopix ScaleThe Hol­i­days are a joy­ful time with par­ties, fam­ily gath­er­ings, buf­fets, and other fes­tiv­i­ties. And, of course, dur­ing these get-togethers, there’s plenty of good­ies that might end up on your waist­line. Accord­ing to Dr. Oz, “Amer­i­cans gain weight between Thanks­giv­ing and New Year’s Eve. More than half will put on two pounds and 10 per­cent will put on five pounds or more. Most peo­ple gen­er­ally don’t lose the weight they gain, he said.”

There are a lot of fac­tors that lead to weight gain dur­ing the hol­i­days includ­ing stress; no time to exer­cise; less time being active out­side because of cooler weather; hol­i­day buf­fets and par­ties; more alco­hol; and lack of meal plan­ning due to busy sched­ules. To help you out, we’ve shared some tips to help you through the hol­i­days so you’re not think­ing about dam­age con­trol when Jan­u­ary arrives.

Make Good Food Choices Dur­ing the Holidays

We know mak­ing food choices can be dif­fi­cult — espe­cially dur­ing the hol­i­days. To help you get started off right, below we’ve included a list of pop­u­lar hol­i­day foods and the num­ber of calo­ries and fat for each. We’ve included healthy alter­na­tives to con­sider when prepar­ing hol­i­day meals.

  • Deep Fried Turkey (3.5 ounces) — 190 calo­ries and 11 grams of fat
    • Bet­ter choice: Skin­less roasted turkey breast (1 serv­ing) — 140 calo­ries and 3.5 grams of fat
  • Pump­kin Pie (1 slice) — 320 calo­ries and 17 grams of fat
    • Bet­ter choice: 2 choco­late cov­ered straw­ber­ries — 68 and 8 grams of fat
  • Mashed Pota­toes with whole milk and but­ter (1 cup) — 237 calo­ries and 9 grams of fat
    • Bet­ter choice: Mashed Pota­toes with skim milk and light but­ter — 148 calo­ries and 8 grams of fat
  • Stuff­ing with Sausage (1 serv­ing) — 345 calo­ries and 26.1 grams of fat
    • Bet­ter choice: Quinoa (1 cup) — 222 calo­ries and 3.6 grams of fat
  • Irish Cream (100 ml) — 327 calo­ries and 13 grams of fat
    • Bet­ter choice: Dry Chardon­nay (6 oz) — 114 calo­ries and 0 grams of fat
  • French’s® Green Bean Casse­role (1/2 cup) — 148 calo­ries and 8 grams of fat
    • Bet­ter choice: Green Beans (1 cup) — 34 calo­ries and 0.1 grams of fat
  • Eggnog (1 cup) — 343 calo­ries and 19 grams of fat
    • Bet­ter choice: Chai latte with skim milk (16 ounces) — 210 calo­ries and 0 grams of fat
  • Sweet Potato Casse­role with Marsh­mal­lows (1 cup): 875 calo­ries and 41 grams of fat
    • Bet­ter choice: Mashed Sweet Pota­toes (1 cup) — 220 calo­ries and 2 grams of fat
  • Pump­kin Cheese­cake (1 slice) — 680 calo­ries and 45 grams of fat
    • Bet­ter choice: Brie, fruit, and crack­ers — 200 calo­ries and 5 grams of fat
  • Shred­ded Beef Tamales (1 tamale) — 347 Calo­ries and 24.4 grams of fat
    • Bet­ter choice: Chicken Faji­tas with corn tor­tillas (1 serv­ing) — 251.4 calo­ries and 5.2 grams of fat

Log Your Nutri­tion Stats

Researchers have found that those who record their food and drink intake lose more weight — hands down. When there’s vis­i­bil­ity to the calo­ries and fat that we con­sume, and we’re account­able for it, then we’re more likely to refrain from unhealthy eat­ing habits. With Life­Topix, you can track what you con­sume through Nutri­tion Log forms.

In the fol­low­ing exam­ple, I’ve cre­ated a cus­tom form that I named “Calo­ries,” which includes Break­fast, Lunch, Din­ner, and two snacks. This allows me to log the num­ber of calo­ries that I con­sume at each meal, every day.

LifeTopix-Calories-Log-Form

Life­Topix Calo­ries Log Form

I’ve set a tar­get value or thresh­old for each meal to ensure I don’t sur­pass the num­ber of calo­ries that I believe are accept­able for my lunch. Set­ting tar­get val­ues is com­pletely defined by you, and you can base it on many types of items and units. For exam­ple, you can limit your­self to two sodas a day, one bot­tle of wine a week, or 5 desserts a month — it’s com­pletely up to you. You can see this tar­get value by observ­ing the dot­ted line in the fol­low­ing graph:

LifeTopix Threshhold

Life­Topix Lunch Calo­rie Threshhold

You can also view the com­plete pic­ture of your eat­ing habits over time, as I’ve shown in the fol­low­ing graph:

LifeTopix Nutrition Tracking

Life­Topix Nutri­tion Log Form

To help you stick to your tar­gets, you might also con­sider some of the fol­low­ing strategies:

  • When attend­ing a party, spend less time by the buf­fet table and more time socializing.
  • Don’t attend a party when you’re fam­ished. Make sure to eat a light snack first.
  • Replace sodas and alco­holic bev­er­ages with sparkling water.
  • When graz­ing at the buf­fet, fill your plate with pro­teins, fruits, veg­eta­bles, and salads.
  • Avoid the office break­room. Pack fruits and veg­eta­bles so you’re not tempted by caramel corn, cook­ies, and other high-calorie snacks.

Keep Mov­ing and Track Your Progress

Often times dur­ing the hol­i­days we believe we’re too busy to con­tinue our reg­u­lar exer­cise rou­tine, and we post­pone it until the new year begins. The hol­i­days are a busy time, so you might need to scale back, but it’s never a good idea to stop com­pletely. This time of year many fit­ness clubs offer spe­cial chal­lenges or com­pe­ti­tions that might also keep you motivated.

We rec­om­mend that you track your fit­ness goals with Life­Topix. See­ing the fruit of your efforts through a work­out log and weight tracker will keep you moti­vated when you’re busy and short on time. Keep­ing track of your exer­cise in Life­Topix is very sim­i­lar to track­ing your nutri­tion. You can set up log forms that work for you, and also set up tar­get val­ues. For exam­ple, I’ve set up a log form that includes my com­mon activ­i­ties as shown below: cycling, strength train­ing, walk­ing, and horse­back rid­ing. You can cus­tomize your form with the activ­i­ties that work for you. The tar­get miles, min­utes, reps, or other units are com­pletely customizable.

LifeTopix Fitness Log Form

Life­Topix Fit­ness Log Form

Track­ing your stress level, weight, and other sta­tis­tics through Life­Topix Quick Add also helps you to see if you need to make any mod­i­fi­ca­tions to your diet, exer­cise, or routine.

LifeTopix Weight Health Tracker

Life­Topix Health Statistics

To help you stick to your tar­gets, you might also con­sider some of the fol­low­ing strategies:

  • Sched­ule your work­outs on your cal­en­dar. Block out the time on shared calendars.
  • If you usu­ally work out in the evening, switch to the morn­ing because it gets dark early. It’s dif­fi­cult to work out when it feels like bedtime.
  • Find a hol­i­day work­out buddy.
  • Add some vari­ety. Try new classes or hire a per­sonal trainer.
  • When you reach a goal, treat your­self with new work­out gear, a mas­sage, or a man­i­cure and pedicure.

Man­age Your Stress Levels

Con­sider the extra stress dur­ing the hol­i­days from hol­i­day shop­ping crowds, argu­ments with fam­ily, and finan­cial oblig­a­tions. All of these add up to cor­ti­sol pro­duc­tion, which is known to cause weight gain. To man­age your stress lev­els over the hol­i­days, we rec­om­mend the fol­low­ing strategies:

  • Cre­ate to-do lists: Use the What’s Next view in Life­Topix to cre­ate a daily check­list. This will help to you accom­plish more, and to also feel in con­trol of your tasks. Place the high­est pri­or­ity tasks at the top of your to-do list. If some to-dos aren’t impor­tant, don’t be afraid to let them slide.
  • Del­e­gate: Don’t try to do every­thing your­self. Ask your spouse, kids, or part­ner to help. Use Life­Topix Dis­cuss options to send check­lists to fam­ily members.
LifeTopix-Share-todo

Shar­ing a To-do List in LifeTopix

  • Use your cal­en­dar: Use your Life­Topix Cal­en­dar to sched­ule all of your appoint­ments and meet­ings. This will pre­vent you from get­ting over­booked and it will also pre­vent last-minute scram­bling to attend appoint­ments and meetings.
  • Plan gift giv­ing: Treat gift giv­ing like a project — build a plan, a sched­ule, and a bud­get. Use “Gifts for Oth­ers” in the Life­Topix shop­ping topic to plan your gift giv­ing. You can record gift descrip­tions, prod­ucts, price, and dates.
LifeTopix-gift-giving

Life­Topix Gift List

  • Avoid the Malls: Traf­fic, crowds, and long lines can take a toll on your stress level and health — and can also take your pre­cious time. If you get started early, you can order most items online.

The LightAr­row team sin­cerely wishes you a happy and healthy hol­i­day sea­son. Don’t hes­i­tate to com­ment or to con­tact us if you have any ques­tions about how Life­Topix can help you stay on track through the hol­i­days. Cheers!

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