The holidays are almost upon us! It’s the time of year we reconnect with old friends and family, remember the good times, and spend quality time with each other.
If you’re trying to lose weight – or keep it off – the holidays are hands down the toughest time of the year. Buffets, office parties, nights spent on the couch … they’re all great, but they’re also things which can shake off or derail a fitness or diet plan.
So … what to do? We all want to have fun and enjoy ourselves without being the scold who turns their nose up at holiday treats. The thing is you want to go into the holidays with a plan. Here’s a few things you can do to keep holiday temptations in check and stick to your fitness goals:
Pretzels, fresh-baked cookies, chips, you name it – the holidays are a grazer’s delight. Everything from a plate of baked goodies on an office table to bags of salty treats at home can turn every day into a battle of wills.
While individual willpower is up to all of us, there are some steps you can take to make avoiding holiday grazing a little easier. First, question why you’re going to that snack table: are you eating because you’re hungry, or are you having a snack because you’re bored and/or there’s food right there?
Secondly, if you do snack, do it the smart way. Stay away from processed foods full of sugar, salts, and preservatives. Focus on real, healthier foods like nuts, fruits, and vegetables. They’re better for you in the long run and you won’t gain nearly as much weight.
Establish & Respect Limits
Whether you’re at a buffet, an office party, or at your favorite relative’s house, it’s really easy to pile up your plate with food. Try not to – holiday foods tend to be carb-rich and low in protein. There are a few ways you can avoid this holiday trap, however.
First, just exercise some portion control. Secondly, try using a smaller plate. Thirdly, if you can’t get out of loading up, try focusing on whatever protein- and fiber-rich foods are available. For protein, look for fish, meat, poultry and certain vegetables like beans and quinoa if they’re available. Not only do protein-rich foods fill you up quicker, they also increase metabolism and hormones which reduce appetites.
Great sources of fiber at the holidays include fruit, nuts, seeds, and most vegetables. Like protein, fiber will make you feel fuller faster.
Watch What You Drink
Naturally, you want to be careful around alcohol every time of the year. It’s worth being even more careful during the holidays, however – alcohol’s much more common at parties and home get-togethers. Be careful how much you drink, make sure you have a ride available if you’re going to indulge a bit more, and always keep an eye on your drink – never leave an open container with a stranger.
Obvious risks of alcohol consumption aside, alcohol is also high in sugar. Like soft drinks, punches, cocoa and other holiday favorites, alcohol is made of empty calories which’ll do nothing but cause you to gain weight. Alcohol can also make you hungrier, too. Now’s a great time of the year to discover moderation if you’re trying to watch your holiday weight gain.
Watch Out For Desserts, Too
Unfortunately, the holiday season is when desserts really get to shine – there may be no other season more dessert-centric than this one. And we get it: denying yourself holiday treats is hard (and sometimes unrealistic).
Moderation is key here as well. When faced with a table of desserts, do your best to focus on your favorites and ignore everything else. Also, eat what you take slowly – savoring desserts can help you feel satisfied and full.
There’s something about the holidays – especially for those of us in colder climates – that invites just hanging out on the couch (or a bed) and going on a streaming binge.
Try a new tradition. Even moderately-taxing activities like a walk around the block can help you either stay at your desired weight or shed a few more pounds. If it’s snowing, try finding a hill to sled on … or maybe ask Santa for a treadmill or stationary bike. Invite your family along, too.
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The holiday season’s almost here – get a jump start and enhance your healthy lifestyle with Sculpt Spa. Book an appointment today!