Avoiding Those Extra Pounds
Holidays are usually a fun time for us all, full of merriment and, yes, delicious foods. But there are some scare words we tend to associate with holiday time, like “holiday weight.” “Holiday diet.” Oh, we accept these as times we’ll put on a few extra pounds, but things will go right back to normal afterward, right?
The truth is that it’s rarely that easy, and getting out of the holiday diet season without adding an extra size or two to the waistline can be a bit tricky. It’d be better still if we just didn’t let ourselves go during the holidays, but with festive treats aplenty to be found, how do we do that?
Here are a few ways you can help keep to a diet that won’t break your buttons or your willpower!
#1: Wait Before Getting Seconds
The food is so delicious you just can’t help but go back for more! We don’t blame you, but often you’ll end up eating too much too quickly, leading to bloating, indigestion, and more.
Plus, it slows you down, so you’re less likely to walk off any of the stuff you just ate. Wait before going back for more to see if you’re really hungry.
#2: Drink Plenty of Water
Drink lots of water while you eat. This has several benefits. One is that it helps you to feel fuller, but also makes sure you’re properly hydrated. Another is that it aids in digestion, and considering the richness of a lot of the foods we eat during the holiday season, digestion might need all the help it can get!
#3: Eat Regularly Before a Feast
Another useful trick is fighting fire with fire. Eat before you go to an event, and regularly throughout the day. A lot of us like to skimp before a big holiday get-together so that we can really go ham on all that ham, sweet potatoes.
Usually, it just leads to overeating quickly, because you don’t really have “more room” in your gut for food.
#4: Indulge a Little!
This tip might seem a little bit counterproductive, but trust us, it’s not. Often we fight our own desires and then feel guilty after we give in, or try to rationalize things after the fact. Sometimes, just have a little piece of chocolate if you are wanting some or a couple of holiday cookies.
Then, you don’t feel like you’re denying yourself something, and you’ll have satisfied your craving in a controlled manner.
#5: Make Time for Exercise
It’s easy to get busy during the holidays, and sometimes too busy to exercise. Except there’s always time to go for a walk or play catch in the backyard, or anything you can do to stay active. Find the time and you’ll feel better.
#6: Look for Healthy Alternatives
Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean you have to eat every unhealthy thing under the sun. Look for some alternatives, such as snacks made with fewer (and organic) ingredients, or recipes that involve fruits and vegetables creatively.
Try to get some sweet treats that also offer some health benefits and help you stay active.
#7: Budget Your Calories
It might be easier to look at your calories like a budget. You don’t want to “spend” too many on any given snack or feast, considering you’ll have plenty more opportunities throughout the season.
#8: Chomp Before You Shop
Shopping hungry is always a bad idea, but never more so than when all those brightly-colored holiday treats are calling from the shelves. Always eat before you shop.
#9: Stay Out of Arm’s Reach
Watch out for the easy-to-grab finger foods. Those can add up to heavy calories and heavy bellies before you know it! Make sure you have to get up to get to your food.
#10: Try Not to Stress
Another killer for the diet is stress. When we get stressed out, we often turn to food or make poor decisions in the name of expedience. Focus on the fun of the holiday and don’t stress eat.
#11: Encourage Each Other
Often you’ll have better success with some encouragement. Get a buddy, pair up against the holiday dietary challenges. Keep each other motivated and eating wisely!
#12: Don’t Start Tomorrow
A lot of us like to make resolutions for the future. “I’ll start tomorrow.” Don’t procrastinate! Start today, even if it means turning down that extra helping of fudge.
#13: Merry, Not Blurry
Alcoholic beverages are a nice treat at some holiday get-togethers, but can pack a lot of calories. Be careful of what you drink and how much. Drink water in between rounds.