Monday, November 25, 2013

4 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain


Thanksgiving is Thursday and Christmas is just around the corner. With all the parties and pot-lucks, the holidays are a time of massive indulgence for many of us. In fact, even those who have managed to stick to healthy diet and exercise programs all year long often fall off the wagon at the end of the year.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying some extra food and drink at this time of year. In fact, studies show that following stricter diets actually makes things harder in the long run. However, it’s important not to go completely over-board, otherwise you’ll undo all of your good work and make the start of the new year that much harder!

Here are 4 tips that won’t take away all of your fun, but will help you feel better about your health once the holiday season is over.

1) Watch What You Drink

All those extra parties are a big source of calories. Not just because of the food, but because of all the sugary drinks they usually involve! Drinks can contain way more calories than you might realize - especially punch and eggnog. Try to limit your intake. I know it’s hard at this time of year, but try this trick. Get one cup early on and a second to end the evening and drink water in between. Avoid diet drinks, they don’t help.

2) Balance Your Calories Day to Day

If you’re going out for a big Christmas meal or party in the evening, balance this out by eating fewer calories earlier on in the day. Now this does NOT mean that you should starve yourself or skip entire meals before parties – doing this can actually lead to overeating when you do eat. Instead, eat lighter meals full of fruits, vegetables and fiber that will help you feel fuller.

3) Plan Your Workout Schedule In Advance

Many of us find that our schedule is all over the place during the holidays, so it’s harder to stick to a routine. Making sure you manage to work out regularly does come down to routine, and it’s easy to let yourself skip your workouts when you’re so busy. Don’t fall off the wagon!

Instead, try to plan things in advance. Plan ahead to get your workout in on days that are not as hectic and on shopping days, park further from the store and power walk. And, if your gym closes over the holidays, either put together a home workout schedule for yourself or re-arrange your workout days for when the gym is open. Get creative and have fun. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition, just keep moving!

4) Get Enough Sleep!

Your social calendar is probably a lot fuller at this time of year. Be careful not to sacrifice your sleep in order to keep up with anything! Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain. It’ll affect how hungry you feel, and it’ll also make it easier to give into cravings when you’re tired. So socialize and party hard, but rest hard too!

Hope these tips can help you enjoy the holiday season without the regret come January1st. I would love to hear your tips as well. Please share any tips you have found to help you enjoy the holidays while maintaining your healthy habits.

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