10 Tips For A No-Holiday-Weight Gain You!
The holiday season is all about celebration, and as everybody knows, no celebration is complete without food… and I mean LOTS of food. Whether it’s an appetizer, entrée or dessert, there can never be one too many dishes for a holiday menu. With so many temptations around every corner, keeping your fitness and eating habits in check can be quite a daunting task. Strong willpower or not, staying healthy during the holidays requires not only dedication, but a little planning as well. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re not feeling like your health plan is a lost cause this holiday.
- Morning Bootcamp. Starting your day out strong may not be easy, but it’ll mentally keep you in check the rest of the day. If you know you’ve spent a lot of your time and energy working out to stay fit earlier, chances are you’ll be making similar choices throughout the rest of your day. Research shows that responses to tempting food decreased significantly for people who hit the gym in the morning.
- Take Time to Chew. Holidays are full of bustling activities, but with so much to do and get done, people tend to hurry the one thing that they actually need to slow down; their meal! I’m all for saving time, but budgeting meal time isn’t an option when you’re trying to avoid falling off your fitness wagon. Chewing slowly and thoroughly reduces the amount of air you swallow with each bite, which has direct impact on the amount of post-holiday bloating you’ll experience.
- Reduce & Reuse Your Plate. Holiday season is renowned for its all-you-can-eat buffet style dining, so instead of falling into that trap, play it smart and reduce (use a smaller sized plate for your meal, to avoid over-serving yourself) and reuse, (use the same plate as before, to remind yourself that you’re going for second or thirds). This keeps you in check, rather than giving you the false illusion that it’s your first helping of any given dish.
- Don’t Hunger Strike. Just because it’s the holidays, doesn’t mean you can excuse yourself from skipping meals until the big feast. Make sure to eat all your meals, just as balanced and on time as you usually would. Showing up at an holiday event starving and famished is not the way to go. This will only increase your appetite for all the temptations you should be avoiding, and hinder your ability to say no.
- Be a Cook, Not the Taste Tester. There’s a reason people tend not to feel hungry after cooking, and it’s not because they’re just too tired to eat after cooking up a delicious storm, it’s because they ate while they were cooking! Mindlessly taste testing every step of the way is loading you up on calories you don’t even need. If you’re going to gain weight during the holidays, you might as well be eating a properly finished meal, not something in the process of being one. So go ahead and cook for your friends and family, but make sure you have an assistant other than yourself, to take charge of all the tasting.
- Chip In A Dish Or Two. There’s no way you’re going to get a complete breakdown of all the calories and nutrients present in each dish, at every party you go to, so why not add something into the mix that you do know? By bringing your own healthy dish or dessert, you know you’ll have something to indulge on, while not being in the dark about what may or may not be in it.
- Watch What You Sip. Calories are a concern not only in food, but drinks as well. This is especially true during the holidays when sugary beverages are at an all time high. Resist the whipped cream peppermint lattes or hot chocolate, to avoid empty calories this season. This rule also applies to alcohol beverages. All that’s going to do is inhibit your ability to make good decisions around meal time, and make it easier to cave into the temptations. Instead, make water your go-to. It might not be satisfactory for you short term, but at least you won’t be regretting it when it’s time to pack up the holiday decorations.
- Budget Your Parties. Yes, there’s lots to do and many people to see, but staying on track with your fitness requires staying on track with your non-holiday routine. This includes both the amount of calories you can allow, and the amount of sleep you get. Partying during the holidays can go on all night if you allow it, and so can the amount of calories you put into your body. Chances are that if you’re sacrificing your sleep to attend more parties, you’re not only disrupting your sleep cycle, you’re increasing your chances of gaining extra holiday pounds as well. The more parties, the more drinks, and the more food. Try being a little more frugal on the number of parties you attend, because the amount of calories you indulge will probably diminish with it.
- Tupperware up Your Guests. Holiday weight gain isn’t just a battle on the day of the event; it’s a battle the morning, and week after too. More than likely, it’s the leftovers that’ll do you in, so make sure you don’t have any! If you think you may not have enough containers for everyone, tell your guests to bring their own ahead of time. They’ll be happy take extra deliciousness home, and you’ll be happy to still fit perfectly in your jeans.
- Make a Pair. The holiday season is one big battle, but who said you had to be the only solider on the battlefield? Grab a friend or relative that has the same goal as you, and help each other stay on track. You’ll be less likely to have a slip up if you’re being accounted for by someone other than yourself.