How much weight did you put on this Holiday?
We have entered a very special time of the year. It's the season for celebration, family, friends, giving, and sharing love. Part of the celebrating will include holiday festivities and other social gatherings; all of which may involve elaborate dinners, decadent desserts, and cheerful cocktails. Although this can be a very happy time of year, there can also be some repercussions: weight gain. Is there a way, though, to avoid the notorious weight gain during the holiday season?
Here are 10 tips that may help you stay on the path of good health.
1.) Stick to Your Diet
This may be easier said than done, since you'll be surrounded by all those wonderful treats and holiday drinks. Even though people tend to stray from their diets this time of year (then later regret it), try practicing self-discipline and adhere to your dietary commitment. Create a set of strategies that will help you along your journey. The following may help you.
2.) Keep Exercising
Whatever you have established as your regular exercise routine, continue your regimen. If you jog, go to aerobics classes, cycle, or weight train, keep it up. Attend your classes, get out and run, keep up with your exercise goals. If you happen to travel during the holidays, find time to work out: check out the hotel gym, rent bicycles to ride around your visiting city, try a new exercise class with a relative or friend.
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3.) Eat Before Going Out
Will you be attending any holiday parties? Some may serve full dinners. Others will display an array of sweet cakes and cookies, chips, crackers, and cheese. And most parties will probably serve alcohol. To manage how much, you eat at these events, have a healthy meal at home before you head out. Consume something light, but satisfying; that way, you will not over eat when you arrive at the party. As mentioned earlier, practice self-discipline: limit yourself to one sweet, for example. Choose a small plate rather than a large one if you decide to sample the cheese platter. And choose one cocktail that you can sip throughout the evening.
4.) Watch Your Alcohol Consumption
Too much alcohol can mean too many added empty calories resulting in some potential weight gain. Have a plan when you drink at a holiday party. As stated earlier, sip a cocktail, or nurse one drink to make it last longer throughout the night. That way, you'll certainly drink less.
5.) Drink Plenty of Water
Also, try this strategy when you're imbibing at your holiday function. As you know, drinking alcohol can be quite dehydrating. For every drink you have at a party, have at least two glasses of water in between. You want to stay hydrated which will help you flush out any toxins after your celebratory evening. Another plan is to hydrate well in advance of your indulgent night. This can start the moment when you wake up. Drink a full glass of water when you make your way to the kitchen. If you know you're going to a party that night and alcohol is involved, start drinking plenty of water well in advance.
6.) Treat Yourself, But Don't Binge
Although you want to stay true to your fitness goals, it's ok to give yourself permission to live it up a little. You do not need to necessarily restrict yourself from all treats and drinks, that may take the fun out of the holiday season. Instead, give yourself the green light to have a tasty piece of pie and a glass of egg nog. Limit your portions; this will keep you on track with your diet without feeling guilty for breaking your own rules. Create a plan or strategy and stick to it.
7.) Accountability Buddy
No one says you have to do this all on your own. Staying disciplined to your intended goals can use some extra help and encouragement. Assign a friend to be your Accountability Buddy. This is someone that can help you stay on track when you're wanting to "be good" during the holidays. Select someone who you trust and is possibly on the same pathway as you. Maybe they, too, want to avoid gaining weight over the holidays. Hold each other accountable when you need that nudge to keep you moving forward successfully. Exercise together, practice "tough love" with each other when you're feeling an to urge to binge or drink too much. When you share your goals with someone else, you are more likely to follow through with your intentions.
8.) Go To A Yoga Class
It's said that yoga has many benefits. Can it help you with sticking with your holiday diet? Yes, it can. Here's how. Find a yoga class that focuses on Mindfulness. This could be a physically active class like Power Yoga or a meditative class like Restorative Yoga or Mindfulness Meditation. In a moving class, you pay very close attention to your breath and your body in motion. It is a way to stay fully aware, in the moment, and connected to your mind and body. With such a practice, much like a meditation class, you're more likely to set clear and attainable goals for yourself. If you create the intention to maintain your dietary strategies, you'll have better success because of your yoga practice.
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9.) Enjoy Nature
Much like going to a yoga class to clear your mind, you can do the same by enjoying nature. Take some time to go outside, get some fresh air. Bundle up if it's cold outdoors, but spare a few minutes in your day to take a short walk, enjoy the sunshine, and breathe in the cool air. Getting a little bit of fresh air actually helps you make better decisions. This will certainly be beneficial in your weight maintenance endeavor.
10.) Mental Check-In
When you have a clearer mind and deeper connection with your body, in times when you feel unsettled, confused, distracted, or frustrated, you can easily stop what you're doing to do a mental check-in. When you start to notice the temptation to eat too many sweets or the desire to miss the gym, take the necessary time to see what is going on with you in the present moment. It's like taking your own temperature to see if the fever you have is related to the flu. When you catch yourself in these unsettling moments, you (or your Accountability Buddy) can help you assess how you're feeling. Maybe you're feeling anxious, nervous, upset, etc. When you're feeling out of sorts, you may end up making less than positive decisions for yourself. For example, arriving at the company holiday party feeling stressed may lead you to eat or drink a little too much.
When you're able to identify the root of the problem, you can also find solutions or healthy remedies to help you feel better. Choose a physical exercise (like taking a walk or going to the gym) or a simple mantra ("I am determined, smart, and beautiful.") to feel grounded and centered again.
Follow these tips during this holiday season. You will have a much more enjoyable and successful celebration right into the new year!
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