Keeping weight in check during the holidays can be a daunting task. With numerous feasts, goodies, and desserts being passed around, it can be difficult to ward off temptation and stick to a healthy diet. Fortunately, there are plenty of painless, simple ways to make sure your weight stays carefully managed during this holiday season. By weighing yourself appropriately, managing your calorie intake, and sticking to a normal exercise routine, you’ll be able to maintain a healthy weight all year long — even during the holidays.
1) Weigh Yourself Regularly
During the holidays, you shouldn’t stop weighing yourself, no matter what kind of advice you might hear from friends or family. The best way to keep an eye on your weight is to use the scale 2 times per week. Do it first thing in the morning, just to make sure you’re still on track. This way you’ll get an accurate reading first thing before you’ve eaten anything.
2) Stick to a normal exercise schedule
Try to start off the day doing a morning workout over the holidays. During a recent study, researches discovered that people who worked out early in the morning were able to better resist tempting food as the day went on, mostly due to neurotransmitters and reduced hunger signals put out by the body. Workout out first thing will also supercharge your mood and put plenty of pep into your day.
3) Choose wisely
When the holiday food buffet is put out, be sure to load up on the healthy foods and keep a minimum of the high-fat ones on your plate. Maybe you really love sliders, but it’s better to load up on salad greens, veggies, and fruits before putting a burger on your plate. Pick the things that look less appetizing (like the healthy foods you won’t want to overeat) and moderate your intake of less healthy foods during the holidays.
4) Don’t save it all up for nighttime feeding frenzies
Many people think it’s better to avoid eating all day long so you can eat all you want when nighttime holiday events roll around. Unfortunately, this only sets you up for a binge eating spree, which will set you back even more. The reason for this is simple: by the time you finally do eat, you’re at starvation point. When you’re this hungry, your willpower won’t possibly stand a chance of succeeding, and you will give in to high-calorie choices like mac and cheese, burgers, and cake desserts. Instead, eat three meals a day with snacks in between, aiming for vegetables and fruits, lean meats, and whole grains on your plate.
5) Avoid diet sodas
While most diet soda beverages will tout their “zero calorie” promises, they actually do have a small amount of calories — and what’s more, they’ll spike your insulin and lead to a greater amount of carb and sugar cravings later on. Stick to plain, cool water with ice and lemon to keep your hunger (and thirst) in check.
6) Add water-rich foods to your diet
One great way to avoid holiday weight gain is to have a nice delicious green salad with spinach, avocado, red bell pepper, and edamame beans. Sprinkle a bit of balsamic on top and a dash of salt and pepper. Add some lean protein in the form of sliced chicken breast or turkey. This tasty, filling salad will help add water-rich food to your diet, keeping you hydrated and full and helping things move through your system. You’ll have more energy and feel better knowing you’ve ingested a meal with plenty of healthy greens, veggies, and H2O. This is a helpful way to keep weight down during the holidays.
7) Drink peppermint or chamomile tea
Peppermint and chamomile tea can reduce gas, calm your stomach, and allow your hunger cravings to get in check once again. Thanks to the healing effects of these two herbs, you’ll find both your mind and body feeling much calmer and more in control after downing a steam in cup of peppermint tea. The holidays can be stressful times, so having a way to calm yourself will help in all aspects of your life.
8) Chew thoroughly and slowly
Slow chewing can be tough to do, but eating too fast will add to bloating and constipation because of increased air swallowing. in addition, you’ll find it harder to control the amount you eat because your brain won’t have time to register that you’ve taken in calories. By chewing calmly, slowly, and thoroughly, your waistline will remain at a normal level, keeping weight in check during the holidays.