The holiday season and gathering time is upon us! It is a great time for celebration with co-workers, family and friends. The down side is that it also tends to become a time for over-indulgence and weight gain!
Why is this important, you ask?
Some statistics show that people gain an average of 8-12 pounds the last 3 months of the year between Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas Celebrations. If something isn’t done about this, this can lead to a LOT of extra weight and health issues. Who wants that!?
Just because we are in the holiday season, doesn’t mean we have the open ticket to gorge ourselves! The holidays do not have to cause weight gain if you think differently about it, have a different focus than food and follow a few tips to stay healthy.
By implementing a few simple tips you can stay healthy through the holiday season and change your focus to the activities, the fun and the true meaning behind the holiday celebrations.
9 TIPS to Help you out:
Avoid Focusing on Food…
Take focus off the food part of the celebrations. Focus on the true reasons you are getting together with others you care about such as catching up with people you have not seen in awhile, focusing on the Christmas Season and its true meaning, and participating in some fun activities such as cards, skating, making decorations, walks to check out locally decorated homes or just to enjoy the fresh air.
Have Realistic Expectations…
Be realistic. Don’t make your main focus about losing weight during the holidays. Just focus on maintaining the best health possible while avoiding gains.
Make time for exercise every day. Exercise reduces stress levels during holidays and certainly contributes to your efforts of preventing weight gains! Consider adding extra exercise to your regular routine due to the potential increase of calorie intake during this season. An example could be an extra 30 min cardio session or even a brisk walk each day.
Avoid Skipping Meals…
Avoiding skipping meals. Be sure to have healthy snacks such as fruits, veggies, raw unsalted nuts, and/or fat free plain yogurt prior to going to a celebration or party to avoid being too hungry! This way there will be far less temptations!
Watch those Unhealthy Fluids…
Be sure to be careful about the amount of unhealthy fluids you drink. Many beverages are packed with fat and sugar (especially some egg nog and cocktails). Alcohol is a dangerous one to be drinking if you want to stay healthy since it reduces our inhibitions generally, can lead to increase snacking and over-indulgence. Also, alcohol tends to be full of calories and sugar!
Scan for Healthy Options…
When you go to an event or party, have a look at what foods are there before you start filling your plate. Choose the foods you like in small amounts and try to balance your plate to be lighter on the calories with salad and vegetables (and avoid heavy sauces). If you know there will not be any healthy options available, consider bringing your own healthy food with you or bring a healthy meal to share with others!
Cook Healthier at Home…
When doing your own holiday cooking, try to cook with the healthier, lower fat, lower sugar and lower salt alternatives. For example, you can put the gravy in the fridge and skim the fat off the top once it hardens. Use more vegetables in your stuffing instead of breads and use low-sodium broth to cook with. Remove the skin off your meats and trim any visible fat. When you make mashed potatoes, try using skim milk, garlic, low sodium broth, and Parmesan cheese instead of whole milk and butter.
Eat Slow and Stop when Full…
Eat slowly and stop once you are satisfied. Don’t keep eating until you feel over stuffed. Enjoy your favourite foods in small portions. Take in the surroundings, enjoy the people you are with and have fun without over indulging on foods or drink. You will feel much better afterwards!
Enjoy and Find a Way to Burn off the Extra Calories…
If you happen to overeat at a celebration, don’t be down on yourself. Just exercise more and eat lighter the following few days. We can make up for the small indulgences by having a plan! So if you really want a butter tart, have one, but consciously have a way to make up for it.
Be sure to enjoy all of the holiday festivities, plan to be healthy and focus on enjoying the real reasons for the holiday celebrations and avoid over-focusing on food.
Be sure to make time for physical activity and cook as healthy as possible for your holiday meals.
Don’t restrict yourself from enjoying your favorite holiday foods (find a good way to make up for the extra calories!).
Once the holiday season is over, your mind and body will thank you!
Please comment below with your thoughts on keeping weight off over the holidays! Any other tips you might suggest?
BONUSES FOR YOU
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