Seconds, Anyone? Enjoy the Holidays Without Dreaded Weight Gain
The holidays are upon us, which means so are the irresistible recipes you wait all year for. Whether you’re the host making the spreads and munching while you bake or the guest that bounces from party to party with an insatiable appetite for egg nog - you’re bound to be faced with some less than beneficial options.
Don’t worry! There’s a way to celebrate without saying no (or yes) to everything. You can take advantage of all the tastes of the season without having to add “weight loss” to your New Year’s resolution.
Here are some holiday hacks to keep your figure through the festivities:
#1 Walk It Off
Literally. If you’re headed to a feast, decide ahead of time that you’re going to go on a long walk afterward. If it’s a night, and you know that all you’ll do later is crash, then set your alarm for early the next day.
Make it count! A stroll won’t be effective enough, so GET YOUR HEART RATE UP up in order to burn calories. The more active and fit you are, the less you’re going to crave the bad stuff, and the faster your metabolism will work. Double points.
#2 Start Small
It’s so easy to get wide eyed when you see mountains of delicious things you won’t have again til next year. But pause and be mindful. Enjoy, don’t inhale, SMALL PORTIONS. If you take your time, chances are you will fill up and need less the second time around or you may not even want another visit.
Savor the things that are more unique amongst the options. So, if there are potato chips and dip, skip those and enjoy the perogies instead. Chips haunt every grocery aisle, but your grandmother’s recipe is a treat.
SOCIALIZE! Mingle, help clean up, play games with the kids running around, dance if there’s music playing - whatever keeps you moving! Sounds simple. If you keep busy during parties, then you’ll have less time to graze and won’t focus on the edibles!
#4 Recognize Cravings vs. Hunger
Our culture makes a consumption marathon out of the holidays. However, there’s a real difference between your taste buds aching for something because you smell it wafting in the air, or remember how amazing the taste is, and your stomach actually needing more food.
It’s simple - DON’T MINDLESSLY STUFF yourself just because you can. If you think you’re still hungry, eat a few bites and then wait before having anymore. There are always leftovers.
#5 Be Kind to Yourself
The holidays are not about food. So stop obsessing and enjoy things in moderation. Stress and guilt are harmful in their own way. There’s no reason to turn down a piece of pie if you can eat a reasonable amount, and will stick to your exercise routine.
RELAX and learn to enjoy the little things without going crazy on rules, or overboard on indulgence.
#6 Drink Responsibly
There are obvious reasons to keep it classy, but there are some hidden benefits too! Your body can’t properly rest while metabolizing alcohol, so if you drink too close to bedtime, it will interfere with fully restorative sleep (which you need to stay fit).
Lack of good sleep lead to hormone imbalance and weight gain - not exactly the holiday cheer you’re aiming for. KEEP DRINKS MODERATE and outside of 2 hours prior to sleep, and try not to stray to far away from your normal, healthy bedtime.
#7 Stay Happy
The holidays aren’t always “the most wonderful time of the year” for everyone. They can be stressful and emotionally draining - from extra bad traffic to rough crowds, to a seemingly endless list of social events, to hunting for that-perfect-present. On top of that, family dynamics bring out a whole new level of taxed energy for good or for bad, especially if you’re hosting. Social anxieties and missing loved ones can be at an all time high.
Additionally, the weather can have quite the effect, whether it’s because you are over the cold and the dark, or wishing it looked more like a post card. To keep your energy, immune system up, take lots of OMEGA-3’s, VITAMIN C, and VITAMIN D. While there is no magic cure for the blues, these will help your body respond more resiliently to stress, so that you can remain energetic and proactive for your body's sake.