Weight during the holidays is like the "Freshman 15." It's expected - oftentimes unavoidable and heavily unwanted. Yet it seems to happen to many people every year. What if you could avoid it?
Well, you can! The idea that you can avoid weight gain during the holidays isn't a hoax to get your hopes up. We're not living in some version of a fantasy world. The fact is weight gain during the holidays is 100% avoidable. Don't believe us? Put these tips to the test and see the results for yourself!
Stick to Your Meal Routine
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can throw things out of their routine. Whether it's happy hour after work at a holiday-themed bar with coworkers or a walk-thru light show where you grab one dessert and beverage after another, the calories quickly add up. It's tempting to skip meals to make room for the extras, but that has a costly effect. Prolonged hunger often leads to overindulgence. I know; you can't seem to catch a break!
Rather than skipping meals to save room for later, stick to your usual eating times and plan accordingly. At the very least, have a small high-protein snack during your typical mealtimes. A high-protein snack will give you proper macronutrients, fend off hunger for more than 30-minutes, and allow you the freedom to enjoy your beer (or cookies) later.
Spend a Little Extra Time with Family
You are probably wondering, "Is that not what the holidays are about?" Well, yes, but spending time with family during the holidays for most looks like sitting in the living room or kitchen, eating, drinking, and talking. What could be wrong with that, right? It's time spent constantly consuming and never expending!
If you want to have fun with your family and feel good while doing so, go for a walk together. Whether it's a morning walk to kickstart a busy day or after dinner to wind down and diminish your evening bloat, you really can't go wrong with family walking time. Not only does it help you get active, but it's perfect for bonding and de-stressing – and who doesn't need a little bit of both?
Slim Down on Portion Sizes
Slimming down on portion sizes - I promise you it is not as awful as you might believe. You want to eat everything during the holiday season – every cookie, pie, ham, turkey, potato, and then some. The options are nearly endless, and that's honestly a component of the problem. Just don't do it; don't go for every single food and a lot of it!
When you grab your plate of food, pick up less – maybe half of what you think you need. More than anything, go for proteins and vegetables first and dedicate the tiniest amount of space to carbohydrates and starchy vegetables like potatoes. Trust me; you will probably still end up full. Either way, it's a step in the right direction. Better yet, drink a glass of water before you eat. A glass of water will make sure you are hydrated. As a result, you are likely to avoid the desire to eat due to dehydration.
There are only three tips to point in the right direction, but they will certainly do wonders to help you and prevent weight gain this holiday season. If you want to push yourself and get into the nitty-gritty of it all, you can read nutritional labels, cut out alcohol, only go for reduced-fat foods, and more, but that is not entirely necessary. Avoiding weight gain during the holidays comes down to three basic things:
Managing your day-to-day lifestyle
Expending more calories than you put in
Fueling your body with good vitamins and nutrients.
Give yourself the gift of this goodness and see how many pounds you can fend off this year!