One of the best things about the holiday season is the food. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the worst. It’s a time when we pack on the pounds while our clothing seemingly gets tighter. After a steady stream of family meals filled with scrumptious food, it might seem impossible not to gain weight. There are so many treats to indulge on, and some of them only come around once a year. Faced with so much temptation, most people give in and end up gaining quite a bit of weight by the time New Year’s rolls around. But there’s no rule that says you have to get heavier during the holidays, and with a bit of self-restraint you might be able to break the pattern. It won’t be easy, but there are ways you can keep your weight under control while managing to enjoy the holidays at the same time. Here are a few helpful pointers to keep you on track.
Don’t Diet – your first impulse might be to restrict your diet completely or aim for a meal plan consisting of all “fat-free” foods. Some people even starve themselves on alternate days thinking that they are cutting down on overall calories. But just like any time of year, you don’t want to disrupt your metabolism by doing anything too harsh for your system. Skipping meals or starvation tactics are never a good option. It’s far better to find healthy substitutions and maintain regular eating so don’t resort to fad diets or unhealthy tricks to stay trim.
Exercise – here’s a shocker – one way to keep your weight down during the holiday season is to make sure you stay as active as possible. It might be hard to find time since you are likely busy with family events or obligations. But if you want to be able to eat without feeling guilty, that exercise is the way to go. You don’t have to go crazy and run a marathon, but try to stay as active as you can to balance out your caloric intake. It will have many side benefits as well such as giving you more energy to deal with the stress of the holidays. Manage
Stress – speaking of stress, a lot of people don’t realize how much they experience during this time of year. And if you happen to be a person who eats more when feeling stressed, this will obviously be a trigger for consuming more food. Remember, if you keep your body and mind healthy in other ways that helps to regulate your daily behavior. In other words, cut down on the likelihood that you will over eat by managing stress and taking care of yourself properly.
Plan Ahead – most people don’t plan ahead or write down what they’ll be consuming when it comes to the holiday season. They simply show up to each event and find themselves surrounded by delicious food. But it’s time to start thinking about different types of meals and what you’ll be eating each day. Plan ahead to get a general idea of your caloric intake, and make preparations so that you don’t find yourself tempted. For example, stay away from self-serve buffets, or at least limit yourself to one serving.
Indulge Intelligently - it takes a careful balance to be able to enjoy the holiday season while keeping healthy at the same time. You never want to go too far in one direction, and that goes for your diet choices as well. After all, if you’re too strict with yourself then you strip all of the fun and enjoyment out of eating with your family. The key to keeping the pounds away is staying away from high cholesterol foods while making smarter choices and careful substitutions whenever possible. With a bit of mix and matching and the occasional indulgence, you can still enjoy eating during the holiday season.
This look at healthy holiday eating comes to us from our friends at rabbitsadvice.com, a site dedicated to the right way to achieve fast weight loss.