Many people are likely to experience some weight gain during the holidays at least once in their lifetime. This is especially true if those vacations occur during the cold winter months. At that time you slow down because of the cold. And when you get together with your friends and family, it’s hard to say “no” to holiday food.
However, you will probably regret eating too much during the holidays. While it can be difficult to keep your diet under control, it is possible to prevent weight gain during the holidays with the help of technology. Here is how to do it.
1. Use the Lose It!
One of the most common things people recommend to track your diet is to use a weight loss tracker. There are many apps on the market so basically you just have to choose the one that is right for you.
A perfect app to use during the holidays is Lose it! It is a weight loss tracker for Android and iOS that has a free and premium plan. The free plan has enough features and should work fine for what you need.
In the free plan, you can do the following:
- Enter your starting weight, plus your target weight.
- Let him lose it! calculate how many calories you have allowed per day to reach that goal.
- Record what you eat for each meal of the day.
- Let him lose it! identify healthy eating patterns that keep your weight in check.
Also, Lose It! The app gives you a breakdown of the type of nutrients you’re consuming: fat, carbs, and protein. A good tip would be to use this app while on vacation to see which foods cost you the most calories. From there, you can adjust your other meals so that your daily calorie intake stays within limits. Lose it! is a perfect app to track weight loss for Christmas.
2. Create a meal plan with Mealime
One of the most useful things that can help you stay healthy during the holidays is the use of meal plans. A meal plan is pretty simple:
- Once a week, sit down and plan what you want to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Then, make larger-than-usual amounts of these meals, so you can feed on leftovers and cut down on your time in the kitchen.
This careful portion control can keep you from scrambling for a last-minute meal in the fridge. It can also keep you from bingeing on unhealthy alternatives. The same exact principles can also be applied to the foods you eat on festive occasions.
In addition, you can also use meal planning apps and websites like Time to eat to help you avoid weight gain during the holidays. The Mealime app is beginner-friendly and makes it easy to create a meal plan. Adjust your food preferences and the app will generate recipes based on your specific diet, allergies and restrictions, and serving size. Some of the diet types include low carb, ketogenic, vegan, and pescatarian.
Now, for your ideal holiday meal plan, simply choose a prepared meal plan that Mealime has created just for you, or you can create your own meal plan. The recipe library is huge, so to make it easy, they’re organized into categories like Lunch Friendly, Pantry Basics, Top Rated, and more.
Additionally, you can use the search feature to find a particular recipe or filter dishes using multiple tags for more advanced searching. From there, tap the plus icon to add dishes to your meal plan, and the app even calculates all the ingredients in a handy shopping list. While vacations are already partly planned in terms of meals for you and your family, you can take this planning further.
Let’s say that, as part of your meals, you want to eat Christmas cookies every day. By including cookies in your meal plans, you can calculate how much they will cost you in terms of calories. You can then add the other items to your meals to accommodate these cookies accordingly. If you’re looking for ways to figure out what to eat, these are the best meal planning apps and websites to save money.
3. Find a holiday food blog or website
Another way to keep your weight in check and plan better meals is to find a food blog that gives you ideas on what to cook for the holidays. There are plenty of food blogs out there, including some amazing baking websites with delicious dessert ideas.
If you’re looking for recipes dedicated specifically to the holidays, look in the AllRecipes Christmas recipe website or the Food Network for Christmas themed meals. Through sites like these, you can plan each week what you’ll cook, all while keeping in the holiday spirit.
Because the AllRecipes website has a section dedicated to Christmas, it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for, whether it’s Christmas candy recipes or food gift ideas. For each recipe, you have the option to save, rate, print, or share it. So if you’re not cooking, you can possibly suggest some of these recipes to your host.
In addition to Christmas-themed recipes, AllRecipes also has recipes for a variety of other special occasions and holidays like Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, and even Cinco de Mayo.
4. Try some winter exercises
You may think that the holidays are a terrible time to exercise, especially if you live in a colder climate where it snows during the winter months. However, winter workouts can be turned into a fun group activity that not only keeps you fit but also helps you bond with family and friends.
If you’re in a cold climate with a lot of snow, there are several fitness apps to keep you fit and active when you’re stuck indoors. A fun and unique option is the BitGym app, an immersive exercise app that allows you to travel the world without leaving your living room.
So you can switch to indoor workouts and feel like you’re exploring warmer places like the island of Gran Canaria and the Shompole Conservatory in Kenya. Plus, BitGym works with almost any cardio machine, including ellipticals, treadmills, bikes, and rowing machines.
Alternatively, outdoor activities like snowboarding, skiing, or tubing are great group exercises. If you’re trying to save money, something as simple as a family walk can help you burn off some of those extra calories he’ll be eating.
5. Use DrinkControl to control your alcohol consumption
One area you may not consider when looking for ways to maintain your weight is the hidden cost of alcohol. You may not think about the calories in alcohol on a day-to-day basis, or you may find that you are consuming more during the holidays.
To keep these calories in check, it’s best to use a weight loss app like DrinkControl. Through the DrinkControl app, you can:
- Count the calories in each drink you consume.
- Track the cost of drinking itself.
- Celebrate your sober days and streaks.
- Make sure you stay within the standard drinking limits.
- View detailed graphs and reports based on your units of alcohol, money, and calories.
They say it takes a few weeks to start developing a habit. So, before the holidays, it is better to install the DrinkControl application and test it. Get in the habit of recording your drink before you drink it, so you have a clear memory of what you are consuming. That way, you’ll be well-prepared for long-term habit tracking. The only downside to this app? It is only available for iOS.
Discharge: DrinkControl for iOS (Free in-app purchases available)
6. Have a reward system in place
A great way to avoid holiday weight gain and stick to your diet is to have a reward system for reaching specific weight- or health-related goals. There are even mobile apps that reward you for walking and apps that gamify your fitness routine, like Fitness RPG.
Sweatcoin is a great example of an app that rewards you for being active. It works by turning your steps into a currency called sweatcoins. You can then use your earnings to reward yourself with digital deals, physical products, coupons, and more.
Always try a reward system that works for you and brings you joy, even if the rewards are not based on food. You should also choose something that you can look forward to after the hard part of the diet is over.
For example, if you manage to maintain your goal weight over the holidays, buy yourself something for Boxing Day. If you want to save money and you already subscribe to a streaming service, take the time to sit down and watch a new show on Netflix either Disney+. Sometimes a quiet weekend is all you need to feel good about yourself.
7. Keep your goals manageable
Lastly, while it’s entirely reasonable to avoid gaining weight during the holidays, losing weight can be a bit of an overkill. You don’t want to push yourself so hard that you don’t have fun or get to the point where you worry instead of relaxing.
After all, if you can stick to a moderate goal without feeling miserable, that may work better for you in the long run. Good feelings and moderate success in the present can create great feelings and more success in the long run. Keep your goals manageable and understand that you need to plan better for this special occasion. That way, you can resume your full habits once you return to your normal routine.
Avoid the holiday binge and have fun
The holidays are a great time to be with friends and family. Using these apps and tools will help you get the most out of eating well and living well without worrying about your weight. Whether you want to eat healthier on vacation or all year long, technology is there to help.