The holidays come every year. You look forward to them… and dread them. Because we all know cookies aren’t great for the waistline. So how can you enjoy the season while not constantly counting the calories?
Below are 7 tips for keeping that holiday weight off!
Ignore Christmas and New Year’s
You don’t want to be counting calories on these days – and you SHOULD be celebrating without remorse. It is likely that any dieting resolutions for these days will be broken – and if you don’t give yourself “permission” to be off these days, you risk blowing your diet entirely. Remember to stay smart while enjoying a few days of carefree eating, and be prepared to get back on the horse (or elliptical, as the case may be) the day after.
Curb your snacking
While conventional wisdom suggests you should snack to avoid eating too much during meals, we’re not convinced this is actually the case. Truthfully, at the holidays, many people just wind up eating a lot at both times – and during these holidays, the typical snacks are carbs and sweets (candy, cookies, chips). So unless you’re very adept at ONLY eating when you’re hungry, it’s best to keep snacking to a minimum prior to an elaborate, can’t-miss meal.
Be aware you’re eating
No, really! Sure this is somewhat obvious, but it’s often really hard to realize how MUCH you’re eating at a social gathering. One tortilla chip becomes 36 and a bite of a brownie turns into a half-plate before your brother-in-law’s hilarious story about his boss is over. There’s nothing wrong in indulging a little during the holiday season, but make sure that you know that you are!
Get some exercise
Whether it’s running your relatives’ stairs a few times or heading off for a wooded walk, revelry and exercise are not mutually exclusive. Thirty minutes of activity a few times per week will keep you in the habit for the inevitable post-New Year’s correction.
Watch the fluids
It’s so tempting to forget that some fluids have calories. Regardless, your waistline will thank you if you replace a drink or two (alcoholic or sugary) with water over the holidays. Water can also have the helpful side effect of taking up a little stomach real estate, helping you feel fuller faster.
Cool it with the add-ons
Gravy! Butter! Sour cream! Your calories may not be coming from where you think. These seemingly “optional” toppings can add mega-calories. So if you’re partaking, be aware of when and how much – otherwise, you may be eating a side dish of turkey with your gravy, instead of the other way around.
Have a plan for January 2nd
An action plan is essential for returning your mind and body to top condition post-holidays. Hit the treadmill running by having a well thought-out 2014 workout and nutrition strategy. Identify goals (build X more muscle mass, lose X pounds) and a timeline, then – personally or with professional help – develop an overall plan for accomplishing them.
Do you have any other holiday weight tips? If so, please share them in the comments below. And have a great holiday season, everyone!