Photo Credit: westonmedichealth.com
So, you have an end-of-the-year weight loss goal, or you’re planning to start 2016 a significant weight loss goal as one of your New Years’ resolutions. But we all know that it’s hard to maintain your current weight, let alone lose weight during the holidays. It seems like wherever you go, there’s always delicious aromas wafting in from the kitchen. With all those freshly baked holiday treats that only seem to make an appearance once a year, it can be hard to stay away. Most folks end up hoping they don’t gain too many pounds over the holidays, let alone think about losing weight over the holidays, which is what makes weight loss such a popular option for a New Years’ resolution.
So, if you’re one of the few people in the holiday weight loss boat, we’ve got a few simple tips and suggestions that might help you not only keep the pounds off this year, but shed a few more while you’re at it.
Don’t Skip Meals
We all do it. You know you have a holiday party in the evening and you want to indulge in all the great food and deserts, but skipping meals and arriving to a feast on an empty stomach is never a good idea. When you’re feeling famished you’re more likely to go a bit stir crazy, scarfing down food without really tasting it or thinking about how much you’re putting into your mouth. Being among friends and food on an empty stomach is likely to cause you to overindulge and walk away feeling disappointed in yourself. Instead, eat your meals throughout the day as you normally would and maybe even have a snack right before you go to that holiday party so that you’re less likely to over-stuff yourself once you finally get there.
When you’re holding a conversation over dinner or trying to impress your crush from across the table, you’re likely to eat less. Distractions while you feast are a good thing, allowing your body to signal how full you really are so that you naturally stop eating instead of eating too quickly and not feeling the effects on your stomach until it’s too late. Whether it’s a fascinating conversation among friends, or helping a youngster with their own meal, welcome distraction when it comes to the dinner table.
Instead of allowing yourself to eat whatever you want in the first thirty minutes or hour of the party, pace yourself throughout the duration of the gathering and only eat small amounts at a time. When you eat everything you want in the first little bit, you’re food is likely to start digesting by the end of the party and you will be left with the temptation to go back for unnecessary seconds. Instead, pace yourself throughout the function, starting with a light main course, then going for deserts a few hours later, and maybe snacking a bit here or there toward the end of the party. Ultimately, pacing yourself will still allow you to get a bit of everything without packing on the calories by doing so.
Don’t Neglect Exercise
It’s easy to forget about working out in the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle. There’s so many extra tasks that need attention – the house needs to be cleaned, gifts need to be bought, things need to be wrapped, the pantry needs to be restocked, and there’s so many parties and events to attend, but in the middle of all these, you can’t neglect your daily or weekly workouts. Schedule your workouts like they’re any other kind of appointment. You wouldn’t miss work, a doctor’s appointment, or a gift exchange with a friend, so don’t skip out on your workouts either. Even if all you can do is offer to stand at the sink washing dishes, take out the trash, or putting things away, it will get you moving and help burn some calories. With all the holiday snacking temptations, your constant workout schedule may be the only thing that keeps you on track and losing weight throughout the holiday season.
Snag Some Sleep
With all the busyness that the holidays bring, it can be easy to lose sleep. Whether it’s putting up holiday decorations, wrapping gifts and getting everything ready for Christmas morning, or simply staying out late at those holiday get-togethers, you might not realize how much sleep you’re really losing. But sleep loss slows your metabolisms, causes you to eat more, and interferes with your weight loss goals. Try to get a minimum of 6-7 hours of sleep each night, anything less boarders on sleep deprivation and hazarded health.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that anything helps. If you’ve had a binge eating type of day, don’t neglect your workout routine under the assumption that it will be pointless. If you’ve over indulged on a specific treat, don’t just throw in the towel and start eating the rest of the treats on the table, too. Ultimately, any sacrifices that you can make for your health will be worth it in the end. Saving yourself just a few pounds in calories that could be eaten in a single night will save you weeks worth of dieting and weight loss efforts down the road.