Is it possible to celebrate the holiday season without packing on the pounds? Everywhere you look there are scrumptious treats and temptations. On top of this, the cold weather makes exercise less than pleasant. Even with superhuman willpower, preventing holiday weight gain is a challenge for everyone. With these simple strategies you can prevent the pounds from accumulating this winter.
Stick to your normal routines.
With the stress and overall busyness of the holidays we can be tempted to shirk on exercise, go to sleep later, and eat only when convenient. Often fatigue and stress can be mistaken for hunger. Exercise and proper rest are the only real solutions. You may need to make adjustments to your schedule, but try to get the same amount of exercise and sleep you normally get.
Exercise in small increments all throughout the day.
If you normally exercise for an hour everyday, but can’t because of conflicting engagements, trying breaking up that hour into smaller chunks. Maybe in the morning you could get 30 minutes in, fifteen minutes at midday, and fifteen minutes in the evening. It still counts as an hour.
Eat a small healthy meal before a party.
It’s a common misconception that you will lose weight by skipping meals. When you skip meals your metabolism slows down causing your body to store more body fat. Also, you’re more likely to overeat and binge later at night if you skip meals in the morning.
At the party, don’t stand near the buffet table.
You’re less likely to engage in unconscious snacking if you’re too busy socializing with friends. If you get hungry reach for the vegetables, fruit, and whole wheat crackers first.
Eat slowly and savor your food.
It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to register a sensation of fullness and tell the brain that it’s had enough. Slow down and listen to your body.
Set goals and keep a food diary.
Plan your weekly food intake and calorie count. You don’t have to miss out on the holiday pumpkin pie. Just add a small slice of pumpkin pie to your meal plan. Also eat more fruits and vegetables during the week to allow for room in your meal plan for desserts.
Eat plenty of lean protein.
Eat protein rich foods such as lean meats, seafood, chicken, turkey, eggs, yogurt and lowfat cheese. Protein will help you feel full and control your appetite.
Alcoholic beverages contain a lot of empty calories with little to no nutritional value. Drinking in excess can lead to weight gain.
Bring your own treats to the party.
If you are going to a holiday party, offer to bring a low-calorie treat or dish with you. The host will probably greatly appreciate the help.
Make a family walk a new holiday tradition.
Besides burning off some extra calories, this will give everyone a chance to bond away from the food for a while.
Keep a positive attitude.
If you overeat or if you’ve had a bad day don’t stress about it. Just get back on the right track the next day.