- Learn a few simple tips to avoid putting on pounds
- Without breaking the bank
- The Ultimate Guide to get through the holidays
It’s the holiday season again! For some of us the indulgence has already started nearly a month ago with Thanksgiving and the countless of Christmas parties spread throughout December. On average Americans, gain about one pound during this period according to Jacob Goldstein from WSJ. If you are conscious about your health you are probably wondering whether you stand any chance at all to avoid putting on extra pounds?
Rest assured, there is a way of limiting the damage and still enjoy this joyous period to the fullest! We’ve put together 18 small tricks that will help you to look after yourself!
1- Keep Yourself in Check Twice a Week
Ignorance is bliss. Many of us choose not to look at our weight during Christmas so that we can indulge without feeling guilty. If you however want to avoid gobbling down too much food during the holidays then try to weigh yourself in twice a week. Ideally, thirty minutes after you get up and before you’ve had breakfast. While by this measure alone you won’t prevent gaining weight during the holiday period, you will face the harsh reality and it will directly affect your behavior throughout the day. Another great way to keep yourself in check is by giving yourself a mental rundown every morning of what you’ve been eating the day before.
2- Exercise In The Morning
Exercising in the morning is not a blanket check for you to indulge later throughout the day. However it is a good way to burn off a few excess calories and perhaps turning some of the excess nutrients you get to eat into lean mass.
3- Be Picky
Eating our favorite and truly memorable meals has a great emotionally satisfying effect on us and it’s not something we should deprive ourselves of. However, choose wisely what you end up eating. Remember the feeling when you know you have been eating something truly unhealthy but you didn’t truly appreciate the value? Don’t fall for this mistake and better be picky about how you feed your cravings.
4- Quality Over Quantity
Likewise we recommend to go for quality and not quantity. Are you craving ice cream throughout the holidays? Fine, but don’t overdo it. Have a scoop or two for the flavor and truly savor it. That way you can spread some of your indulgences across the holidays. If you end up leaving everything to one big meal you’ll surely end up overeating.
5- Eat Slowly
Chewing slowly also helps us to appreciate the flavor of our favorite foods. Not only that, but it also decreases the chances of overeating.
6- Cut on Sugar
The biggest weight gainers tend to be sweets, desserts and fizzy soda drinks. They provide us with an excess of carbs that our body will store away as fat. Try to get a little creative and replace some of your desserts with healthy snacks such as a watermelon or a chia seed pudding.
7- Avoid Temptation
Too many times we get tempted by filling up our coffee tables, fridges and cabinets with tons of chocolate and candy. Sure, if you get constantly tempted by all your favorite goodies then you’ll end up overindulging very easily.
8- Don’t Skip Meals
Skipping meals is equally bad. Many of us buy into the wrongful belief that if we skip out on our breakfast we’ll be able to eat more throughout the day. While this may work for a few of us, most of us will simply overeat during our other meals, as our body will feel fatigued and deprived of energy. Also check out our post “Why You Should Stop Dieting To Lose Weight”.
9- Eat Before The Party
Are you attending a Christmas party? Try to eat something healthy before the party. This will fill you up and have you avoid snacking too much away on potato chips, pizza and the likes.
10- Don’t Get Tipsy
For many of us alcohol belongs to the holidays like butter on bread. However, beware of the fact that while your body is breaking down alcohol it cannot metabolize food. Under influence our inhibitions are lowered and you’ll easily end up binging on the snack foods at a party. A good strategy is to swap out every second glass for a glass of water. Manu successful dieters avoid drinking alcohol altogether therefore.
11- Focus On Conversation
When you are socializing, don’t just stand next to the food table and eat away. Instead try to focus a little bit more on the conversation. You’ll easily find it to be a great distraction from drinking and eating.
12- Stay Hydrated
We can’t stress it enough, but drinking water before your meals is one of the easiest ways of eating less than usual.
13- Say “No”, But Politely
Overeating is often a result of bad habits. We have been conditioned by our parents and grandparents to always finish our plates. While it’s seen as the noble thing to do, it is also fairly unhealthy to ignore your own internal signals. In situations like these it’s best to handle the request for some more with a simple ”No, thank you. I’ve had enough. Everything was delicious!”.
14- Freeze Your Leftovers
It is completely normal that we end up cooking way too much during the holidays. But the excess food doesn’t have to get spoiled or needlessly eaten when you are already all filled up. Instead you may consider freezing your leftovers so that you can enjoy them another time again!
15- Wear Something Tight
As silly as it may sound, but wearing some form-fitting clothes will help you be more conscious about how much you eat — especially after your stomach ends up slowly expanding after those heavy meals. 😉
16- Have A Walk
When spending time with your loved ones, you won’t have to spend all of it at the dining table or on the sofa in front of the TV. How about taking a walk before or after meals? It’s a great way to bond and keep yourself moderately exercised.
17- Clean Up
You don’t want your joyous celebrations be spoiled by an untidy home. Another way of staying a little bit more active is to tidy up the home, wash the car, or do some handiwork around the house that you have put off for so long!
18- Take It Easy
Do not stress yourself too much during the holidays by trying too hard to be perfect. People who are stressed tend to release a hormone called cortisol, which increases our appetite for fat and sugar to calm our nerves.
Keeping slim during the holiday season may not be an easy endeavor, but it is far from impossible as our little tricks have hopefully shown you. Nevertheless despite the importance of staying healthy, none of this should take away from your holiday experience. What’s most important is that we feel good about ourselves and have a great time with our family and friends!
– Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the whole Shape team!