It's the start of another holiday season and everyone has the same thought in mind: How much will I gain this year? Well, don't be so pessimistic! I have compiled a list of simple things you can do throughout this season that will help you avoid putting on those extra holiday pounds. If you put these steps into action, not only will you not gain any weight this season, you might actually lose some.
Prepare Healthier Options
This is probably the most obvious (and most unpopular) solution. If you are hosting the holiday festivities, do everyone a favor: Make some healthy selections! I'm not saying that you have to go crazy and cut out the ham or turkey, but having a few healthy, yet delicious, options is a great way to make sure that you don't go overboard with putting on the holiday pounds.
If you are not hosting, this could still be a helpful tip. If you are going to a dinner that encourages you to bring a dish, instead of bringing over a dessert for your holiday party, bring a healthy side dish! I can guarantee that you that there will be others at the party hoping to watch the calories, and they will thank you for it. There may be some who had the same idea whom you can thank as well.
If you don't want those tasty desserts to stick, stay active. Make sure that you are still working out during the holidays. I know that you're supposed to be relaxing, but being a couch potato is a sure fire way to get of shape quick. Make a routine and stick to it. The best way to stick to your plan is to work out in the morning. Experts say that you have more willpower in the morning, so it is best to get you workout over and done as soon as possible. It will also give you a nice energy boost for the rest of the day. Make sure that you are not using this as an excuse to eat more than you should. Burning 100 calories on the treadmill is not an excuse to get a third helping of mac and cheese when you're not really hungry.
Instead of soda and juice, drink water with your meal. You would be surprised at how much sugar is in some drinks, and that can add up quickly. I know the egg nog can be tempting, but try to drink at least two glasses of water before you have any other drink. That will take care of two things for you: you will drink less of the sugar-filled drink, and you will drink much more water. You want to drink as much water as possible so that you stay hydrated. Your body needs that hydration in order to function optimally and fight off that extra fat from your holiday meal.
Take your time while you're eating. Make sure that you are chewing every bite completely. When you eat, it takes some time for your stomach to realize that it is full and you are no longer hungry. If you slow down during your meal instead of rushing through it, you will feel full and be less tempted go back for more. This is also much better for your digestive process when the food that you swallow is thoroughly chewed. That's less work for you liver and it's less time in your system.
This holiday season, you want to find something that relaxes you. Stress will cause you to overeat, and with all the holiday leftovers around, this won't be hard to do. Too much stress can also cause your body to retain weight that it would normally not. Stress is the enemy. Combat it by trying meditation or getting a massage. You can even try yoga! That will double as a relaxation technique and a workout. I know time is precious so it can't hurt to double up on some of these tips.
Have a Fun Activity Planned
Everyone knows that there will be food at any holiday get-together. But doesn't mean that the event needs to be ALL about the food. It may help you to not eat yourself into a coma if there are other things to do at the party. Try to play a game of touch football or have some board games lined up to play. One of my family favorites is Catch Phrase. It will get you up and moving around after your meal. Not only is that great for digesting your food, rather than just sitting and watching TV, but it also takes your mind off going back for seconds (and thirds…).
If you are mindful of all of these tips, you should have no problem keeping off the weight gain that normally comes with the holiday season. My last piece of advice would be to stay positive. Remember that this season is meant for celebrating. Don't let other things cloud that fact. A happy you is a healthy you. Take a deep breath, spend time with your friends and family, and enjoy yourself. Happy Holidays!
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