Want to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain? Follow These Important Tips
Tempting sweets, holiday favorites, late nights, and the stress of purchasing the right gift for your loved ones probably has your life feeling like it’s spiraling out of control. If you want to avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain, you’re sure to find the following tips easy on your waistline.
Schedule Time to Exercise
Getting motivated to exercise can be difficult to do. However, add in gift shopping, holiday celebrations and decorating, and you may find it a challenge to put together a free moment throughout your busy day. While missing an occasional workout is acceptable, a lack of activity can increase your chances of gaining weight. It can also boost your stress levels. When you’re ready to plan your calendar for the weeks ahead, schedule time to exercise. On the days that you can’t possibly fit in some exercise, you can still burn energy and calories by selecting the farthest spot in the parking lot at the mall, using the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator and toting your holiday packages inside the house.
Keep a Journal
Sticking to a healthy eating plan is important, especially during the holidays. While you want to enjoy certain indulgences such as the occasional piece of homemade fudge or sugar sprinkled cookies, your eating can get out of hand. Keeping a journal affords you the chance to track everything that you put in your mouth. If you want a cookie, add it to your food journal for the day. Assign an estimated calorie count to each of the entries. If you have calories leftover, you can budget for a handful of snack mix or a piece of pecan pie. Try to stick to the recommended servings such as fruits, veggies, lean protein and low-fat dairy. Monitoring your sodium and sugar intake will help you keep off any excess weight and bloating. Without these food hazards, you can also avoid spikes in mood swings and energy levels.
Liquid Calories Count
When it comes to calorie counting, many individuals forget to count their liquids. While it’s important to drink at least eight, 8 ounce glasses of water each day, alcohol can be a big part of your holiday celebration. If you’re attending a work, neighborhood or family party, aim for lower calorie drinks that don’t house a lot of sugar. Wine spritzers, light beers and gin, vodka or rum mixed with diet soda are your best options. Sugary-laden beverages such as margarita’s and daiquiris can be full of calories. In between cocktails, it’s best to alternate your drinks with water or diet tonic instead.
Do a Good Deed
For some individuals, spending time with family or hosting a holiday gathering can be quite stressful. If you’re looking to add some special meaning to this magical time of year, try doing a good deed. Chris Havlicek offers some great advice on giving back to the community. Whether you do this on your own or you involve the family, purchasing presents, volunteering your time or making a monetary donation can help keep your body healthy both mentally and physically.
Resist the Urge to Nest
Your couch and a warm, fluffy blanket may look inviting after a long, hard day of work. However, adopting the lifestyle of a couch potato will only make it easier for you to pack on pounds. It can also make your body lazy and more prone to sleepiness. Instead of sitting in front of the T.V. after mealtime, gather your family together and take the dog for a walk. The fresh air will invigorate your body and help you to feel energized. You can also incorporate other fun filled activities such as ice skating, cross country skiing, sledding or power walking.