Think holiday weight gain is inevitable? It doesn’t have to be — if you start working now on developing healthy habits for the holiday season.
Don’t fear the holiday season
Many people fear the holidays for various reasons, but overeating, drinking too much and gaining weight are right at the top of the list for lots of people. You do not have to gain one ounce, however — in fact, you can actually begin to lose unwanted body fat and look great for your upcoming parties if you adopt the following tried-and-true principles. Rather than giving yourself permission to “overindulge” during the holiday season based on the promise of being better after New Year’s Day, get a jumpstart on your healthy resolutions and avoid the trappings of empty promises, frustration and guilt.
Holiday season daily tips
Start your New Year’s resolution early
Don’t wait until after the holidays to start living a healthy lifestyle – by New Year’s Day you will most likely have some extra weight to shed that could have been prevented and that may deter you from following through with your New Year’s resolutions.
Start the day with exercise
Strive for 30 minutes of aerobic and 30 minutes of weight-training performed on alternating days, six times a week. Exercising in the morning will set your metabolic rate a bit higher and will help your body burn fat more efficiently.
Eat five to six times a day
Based on your particular needs, include three main meals and one to two snacks. Start your day off right by making your breakfast the largest meal of the day, consumed within one hour after your morning exercise session.
Eat small but nutritious, well-balanced snacks between meals to prevent sugar cravings and hormonal chaos. Snacks are mini-meals, and should be as nutritious and well-balanced as main meals – just smaller. An example might be an apple and string cheese or one-fourth cup of almonds and fruit.
Fill your plate
Divide your plate into thirds, filling each section with quality whole foods such as one cup pf vegetables, one cup of fruit, and three to four ounces of lean protein (skinless chicken breast, fish or other lean meats).
Plan your meals
Plan ahead and pack a small cooler with all of the nutrition you need for the day, including plenty of water. Drink water and herbal teas (green, white, black) throughout the day. To sweeten teas use xylitol, a natural low-glycemic sugar that will not increase your blood sugar, insulin levels or waistline.