In this first section of the guide I would like to share with you a few guidelines that can help you to stay on track and not put on any excess weight between now and the end of the year.
1) The Holiday Season Is Just A Few Days.
Keep everything in perspective. Although it is a time of festivities it is only for a very short period of time. Don't let the binge turn into a week or more by taking home all the leftovers or storing more sweets and pastries than you need for that particular holiday.
It is usually what people find in the fridge and on the kitchen shelf after the holiday that they continue to binge. Empty the fridge and the shelves. This will definitely help you not to put on any weight during the holiday period.
2) Turn Your TV Set Off.
Instead of watching all those holiday special programs on your goggle box, get moving!
If it's Summer where you are, instead of watching a soccer game on TV, get a ball and go to the nearest park for a session of kicking the ball around.
Instead of lying on your couch snacking on a packet of chips, go lie by the poolside, then do a few laps. Better still, get your family and friends to join you. Go for a jog instead.
If it is winter where you live, be innovative, think of some indoor activities or exercises you can do. While others gain weight, you may even lose weight. After all it’s a holiday. Have fun!
3) Steer Clear Of Excess Alcohol To Avoid Weight Gain.
One gram of alcohol packs a massive 7 calories. In contrast, carbs and protein have only 4 calories per gram. Calories from alcohol are just, well, calories with zero nutritional value.
They will rapidly convert into fat fast when you do not burn them off quickly. Avoid high-calorie mixed drinks like cocktails that are full of sugar or beer which are high in carbohydrates which translate into even more calories.
4) Drink Plenty Of Water.
Juices, soft drinks and coffee don't count! Just good ole plain water.
Water flushes out toxins in the body, helps the body recover from dehydration caused by alcohol consumption. You will also feel full so that you will not over eat resulting in gaining weight.
5) Skip Dessert To Stop Consuming Empty Calories.
Do you need those sweet and calorie laden thingies? Especially after the feast which we normally have just consumed.
I bet squeezing in that piece of cake or slice of pie to an already satisfied tummy is not going to help us maintain our figure.
If you must have them, choose those that are not that sweet or even better, just have some fibrous fruits and nuts. Do this to keep your weight in check but also enjoy some variety.
6) Make Sure You Eat Before You Go To Any Holiday Gathering.
You probably wont be venturing out this year, but if you do...
You know you will be tempted by all sorts of unhealthy but yummy foods. Make sure you don’t go overboard by eating something that is good for you before you go.
Try to make sure you are not hungry when you arrive, or you will be much more tempted to overeat as well.
7) Drink some water before you go and alternate higher calorie drinks like alcoholic beverages, eggnog or hot chocolate with water while you are at the holiday party.
Again, you may not be going anywhere, but if you do...
Drinks can have a lot of hidden calories in them, so watch out. Diet sodas are another good option for such an occasion.
8) Fill Your Plate With Some “Good” Foods First.
Pick some raw vegetables, but go easy on the dip. Turkey breast, and lean ham or pork roast are other good choices.
Don’t forget a nice plate of salad with a low fat dressing and some fresh fruit for dessert.
9) Don’t Cut Your Favourite Holiday Treats Completely Out.
If you don’t allow yourself the occasional small indulgence, you will be much more likely to break down and binge on all those cookies and treats.
The key is to enjoy small portions or bites of your favourite foods. If you have a soft side for chocolate chip cookies then go ahead and indulge, but limit yourself to one a day or every few days. Of course the same applies if you prefer cheesecake or gingerbread men.
Eat several small meals a day. This old tip holds especially true during the holiday season. We tend to skip meals and indulge in one large holiday dinner with the entire family.
Don’t starve yourself all day. Get some snacks in and most importantly start your day with a good, healthy breakfast. You will be able to enjoy your holiday more by stabilizing your blood sugar.
You don't want to spend the day being grumpy from not eating for hours, or be the first ready for a nap after overeating.
10) Use The Busy Shopping Season And Burn Some Extra Calories.
If you are heading to the shopping centre or retail park, park a little further away, or take your time and do a round of window shopping before you buy.
Every few extra steps that you take count. Just don’t reward yourself afterwards with food.
For extra motivation to get more walking in, consider wearing a pedometer.
11) Take Some Time To Relax.
The holidays can be a very stressful season if we let them.
Many of us tend to overeat or medicate ourselves with food when we are stressed. Work in some extra time just for you.
Sit in front of the fire with a good book or your favorite magazine, go get your nails done, take a bath or go for a walk. Do whatever works for you to calm you down and help you de-stress.
Above all, enjoy the holidays and remember they are not only about food, but more importantly about family spending quality time together.
Treat yourself to some new holiday candles, listen to your favorite Christmas tunes, or go for a drive through a lit up neighbourhood this year. Have fun during this special time of the year.
Come back tomorrow at 9am for more tips on Hijacking the Holiday Weight Gain!