As the leaves fall, you start thinking its hopeless. Gone are all those long sunny days with a few more hours of light to encourage exercise. Coming up are the cold days that invite you to hibernate; pound-hiding layers of clothes and “hearty” winter food fare. It doesn’t have to happen to you, here are some tips to help you fight the holiday gain.
SET YOUR GOAL
Weigh yourself a few days before Thanksgiving and write down your weight. Keep your eye on the goal throughout the holidays. Step onto the scale again a few days after New Year’s and compare your weight. Reward yourself with something special (not food) if you kept within a pound of your pre-holiday weight.
- You don’t have to “gobble gobble” all you can eat. You can eat smaller quantities. Taste everything, but take smaller portion.
- Eat a light meal before going to holiday parties so you won’t arrive “starving” and overeat.
- Offer to bring a dish to parties you attend. Prepare a low-calorie dip or appetizer.
- Fill your plate with low-calorie, low-fat foods such as fruits, vegetables and salads. Crowd your plate with them, leaving little room for the higher fat items.
- Drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Dilute alcohol or wine with fruit juices or club soda.
- Focus on friends and family rather than the food. Remember, the holidays are a time to visit with family and friends and share more than food.
- Look for opportunities to be physically active through the holiday. Talk walking tours to see decorations or go caroling. Get out and walk after the meal instead of taking a nap on the couch. Park as far away from the store as you can and take the stairs any chance you get instead of an elevator.
- Serve chicken, turkey and fish rather than beef and pork.
- Indulge freely in fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Be pleasant but firm when declining offers for additional food servings.
- Try not to eat after 7PM. If you do end up eating late, try to avoid too many carbohydrates and fats as it will all store as body fat. Go for a blend of protein, carbohydrates and fats.
- If you are eating out, ask for a “TO GO” box as soon as the meal is set down and take off half of it. You can then use that as a meal or snack the next day. “Out of sight, out of mind”, you will have less chance of over eating.
- If you do choose to eat sugary foods, be sure to put protein with it, to help regulate the insulin effect.
- Several times a day, it would help if you stop what you are doing and take 3-5 deep breaths. Also if you do 5 minutes of deep breathing before you go to bed it will help you relax and
- increase the quality of your sleep.
- Try to do some exercise every 3rd day, it will hold you where you are. If you get more in consider it a bonus.
- Try to get to bed by 10PM to avoid shifting into the adrenal overdrive of the system. Excess cortisol causing an increase in the belly fat on your body.
- To reset your pineal gland from travel or daylight savings time, sit on the porch in the morning for
- 5 minutes without any glasses (sun or prescription) or contacts, do not look at the sun but allow the sunlight to move through the iris of your eye, the pineal is right behind the iris. If you can’t do this in the morning then any time of the day would help.
- Be sure you are getting enough supplemental Vitamin D, especially if you live in areas where there is less daylight through the winter.