15 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
Labor Day, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. These are just a few holidays in the United States where weight gain is always a possibility. Fortunately, you can keep these 15 tips in avoiding holiday weight gain and be happy about it.
But why stop with just the holidays? You can also apply these tips in everyday life! When the holidays come again, you have developed a backbone in resisting food temptations.
Reduce Calories in Recipes
One of the best ways to eat according to your diet is to cook the food yourself. You can make healthy substitutions and reduce calories this way, too. A few tips:
Also, be wary of calories in processed liquids. Water is always the best choice. Sweetened beverages, soda, and cocktails contain more calories. If you want flavored water, just squeeze fresh lemon, lime and oranges into it.
Start Your Day with Exercise
When you exercise in the morning, you will enjoy several benefits. You will likely have a chipper mood resulting in better behavior throughout the day. Your body has so-called happy hormones that reduces the effect of physical stress.
You can also be less tempted by the sight of food and drinks. Your body will likely have fewer cravings for high sugar and fat foods.
Even just 15 minutes of jumping rope in the morning can do the trick. You can also maintain your fitness levels even with your busy schedule.
Get Your Weight Twice a Week
This is enough to stay on track yet not make sticking to a healthy diet a chore. You will be happy to see that you’re still within your healthy range, too.
Learn to Say “No”
Think of willpower as a muscle. The more you work at it, the stronger it gets. You will have a difficult time saying “no” to food temptations. But as you practice it, you will find that it becomes easier.
Just say “no” and mean it. You should also tell yourself “no” even when no offers of food have been made.
Avoid Calorie Banking
Cutting back on your meals and snacks may sound good in everyday situations. But in food-filled holidays, it isn’t such a good idea.
Even amidst the holiday festivities, be sure to eat three square meals and two light snacks a day. Your body will then be fed well instead of getting near-starvation levels. You will likely go on a binge when your body has been starved for several hours otherwise.
Eat Plenty of Potassium
Get more papayas, bananas, strawberries, kiwis and cantaloupes in your diet. These fruits are rich in potassium, a mineral that counterbalances sodium. You will feel less bloated and less likely to reach for the sweets.
Keeping snacks out of sight in your home is easy. But this isn’t so in the office, mall and other people’s homes. You can also say “no” to them all the time or you can practice smart snacking. A few tips include:
Skip the snacks when you’re not hungry. You can avoid overeating, too. Choose fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and nuts. You will feel fuller for longer with these food.
Watch Your Portion Sizes
You should be more mindful of the amount of food you eat during the holidays. You can easily overeat because everybody seems to be doing it, too. Your plate and glass may also be larger, too.
Your best bets: Watch your portion sizes or measure your food. You can use a smaller plate and walk away from the buffet table.
Practice Mindful Eating
People are harried during the holiday season. This can result in multi-tasking, even during meals, and distracted dining. When you’re distracted, you’re more likely to overeat. For this reason, being a mindful eater is a must. Try these tips:
You should also listen to your body’s signals. When you feel satisfied, you should stop eating. There’s always tomorrow, after all.
Focus on Fiber-rich Foods
Fiber contributes to a feeling of fullness in the stomach. This is because fiber takes a longer time to digest so your brain sends the signal of being full. You can add more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains to your diet, too.
Add Protein for Balance
Holiday foods usually contain high levels of carbs but low levels of protein. This isn’t a good thing! Carbs contribute to weight gain, as is the case with white breads, cakes, and cookies. Protein, in contrast, promotes a feeling of fullness and builds muscle.
Protein also reduces hunger pangs resulting in reduced caloric intake. The macronutrient also increases metabolism, a must in effective weight management. Be sure to include 25-30 grams of protein in each meal. The best sources are lean meat, fish and poultry, as well as quinoa and beans.
Get Your Just Desserts
There’s no need to deprive yourself of desserts during the holidays. Just keep these tips in mind:
Work on Your Willpower
Aside from saying “no” to food temptations, a strong willpower is a must in other situations. You will need it to overcome your reluctance to hit the exercise machines. You will find it useful when refusing another cocktail, too. An effective exercise in willpower is described here:
Your craving should be gone by then. Even if it isn’t, it’s intensity will probably decrease.
Get Your Stress Under Control
The holidays can be stressful with the shopping, cooking, and socializing activities. But don’t let the stress take over your life because:
Cortisol has been linked to greater food intake and, thus, weight gain. You’re likely to engage in emotional eating when under stress.
Get Plenty of Sleep
You may want to sleep when you’re dead during the holidays. But sleep deprivation has been linked to weight gain and premature death!
Why? Sleep-deprived persons tend to be hungrier. They also tend to get less physical exercise and consume more food. Both are the result of an increase in hunger hormone level and decrease in metabolic rate.
Gaining weight during the holidays doesn’t have to be your fate every year. You have to take control of your lifestyle habits and resist the temptation to binge. Your mind and body, your responsibility, your health!
Even during everyday situations, these weight management tips are still applicable. You should practice them on a daily basis so that the holidays are easier on your body.