How to Avoid the Dreaded Holiday Weight Gain from How to Avoid the Dreaded Holiday Weight Gain
How to Avoid the Dreaded Holiday Weight Gain
Don’t surround yourself with sweets
Christmas cookies are all around. You can make them disappear without eating them. Move to another desk if colleagues bring too many sweets. If at home, put the candies in the kitchen cabinets and forget about them. Keep them out of sight. Having such treats stocked up at the office or at home make it very hard to keep track of how many you’ve in a day, hence the excess.
Don’t throw the scale out
Don’t stop tracking your progress or keeping tabs of your body composition just because the holidays are here. If you have a habit of hiding the scale away until after New Year’s you may need to reevaluate your goals and recommit yourself to a year-round health and fitness routine. There’s no need to obsess over the exact number of your weight, but the scale can be a helpful tool to help you gauge whether or not you’ve gone too far off track.
Don’t neglect walks
This is a big NO. Relaxing doesn’t mean leading a sedentary lifestyle. Make time to go for a walk at least. This is a very simple habit people forget to do and it can help a lot in preventing weight gain. To turn it into a real workout, walk fast for 20 minutes or so. You’d be surprised how good you’ll feel after. Take your family on a walk if you need a little motivation. Every bit of movement counts so don’t stop. Don’t allow a busy holiday schedule to diminish the importance of your workout routine.
Get some sleep; it’s the holidays!
Sleep deprivation causes stress on the body. It sparks a vicious cycle where you are left feeling tired, slowing your metabolism, and playing tricks with your hormones. Little sleep affects the fat cells. Their ability to react properly to insulin (the hormone that regulates energy storage) decreases by 30 percent. Such chronic disruption could cause weight gain, type 2 diabetes and other health problems, according to a study. In storage mode, fat cells remove fatty acids and lipids from the circulation where they can damage other tissues.
Don’t sample too much food
Put those leftovers away. Just because you’re standing with the fridge door open and having just a bite or two from that stuffing doesn’t mean your body is not taking in the calories. Send your leftovers away with everybody as they leave your house. Licking the bowl after mixing that cookie recipe is a bad idea, too. Avoid this taste fest, especially when you’re cooking. A quick taste can easily turn into a whole meal and then you’re in trouble.
Do you have “cheat days” too often?
There is nothing wrong with rewards and everybody deserves them. However, many people don’t know how to treat themselves. They automatically turn to the sweet stuff. Don’t go for the high-sugar, high-fat drink with an apple pie. Pick just one. If you want a lot of sweet rewards, go online where you can find tons of healthy recipes of the same holiday treat.
Too many liquid calories perhaps?
There are so many family and office parties this time of the year and people tend to drink more than usual. Many people face that challenge. The worst booze offenders are beer, sweetened drinks and fancy cocktails because they have a lot of sugar in them. Liquor such as vodka and bourbon are good choices because they don’t have gluten in them.
Smoking is a major public health concern in the U.S., and for good reason. It is a common misconception that people think smoking cigarettes helps you lose weight. According to research, smoking could reduce appetite, resulting in less food consumed and a slower metabolism. “There is increasing evidence that smoking affects body fat distribution and that it is associated with central obesity and insulin resistance.”
You may not be eating enough
You rushed out the door, forgot to eat breakfast, and then realized you were swamped at work. You didn’t have time for lunch and now you are finally home cooking dinner. This is one reason why you’re gaining weight. The less you eat, the slower your metabolism. Eat small meals frequently throughout the day to increase your metabolism and burn more calories.
Don’t stress over gift shopping
Just because stressing over getting the right gifts for you loved ones is normal this time of year doesn’t mean that it should be. A lot of people who are overstressed experience change in habits such as eating more, which can result in weight changes. The extra pounds people gain under stress are usually stored as abdominal fat because the adrenaline and cortisol, the stress hormone, make you hungry for carbs and fat. One of the biggest stressors is work; learn a few tips to handle it.
Watch your portions
If you are trying to lose weight, or at least not to gain any during this trying time, it’s important to practice portion control. It’s imperative to get the right amount of servings, and follow standardized recipes exactly so you know the amount of calories you are consuming. You can estimate your portions using a measuring cup, portion control plates or a scale.
Don’t skip breakfast so you can eat more later
Nutritionists are unanimous: Starving yourself so you can eat more later is absolutely the worst idea ever. Don’t skip meals and eat foods that have a lot of protein during the day. They will keep you full so you don’t overeat before the big meal. Stay away from carbs because the body burns them quickly which results in you being hungry more often.
Say no to energy drinks
They are horrible, horrible for you. Some energy drinks have as many as 20 teaspoons of sugar in them. Another common ingredient is caffeine, the amount of which can be extremely hazardous to your health. It can lead to insomnia, headaches, anxiety, restlessness, nervousness, nausea, and irritability. Even worse, it has the potential to cause chest pain, increased blood pressure, and heart palpitations.
Don’t eat the wrong foods
Going out too meet up with friends or ordering in because it’s the holidays and cooking is just too much of a bother easily leads to losing track of the quality of what you eat. A burger, fries and a soda easily range between 800 and 1,200 calories. That’s more than half of the recommended daily intake. All the fried picks and bites here and there add up quickly straight onto your waistline. Pick a favorite food and let it be your “go-to” when there are too many temptations around.
Drink more water
Few things, if any, are healthier than water. To boost your immune system and keep your overall health in check, drink lots of water. If possible, add Vitamin C and D supplements to your diet. People forget to drink water because they don’t exercises as much and don’t burn a lot of energy. Getting enough water helps you lose weight also because thirst can occasionally feel like hunger. A glass of water first could help you avoid eating when you’re not actually hungry.