The holidays are here, and for many Americans, this translates to overindulging and weight gain. The good news is—it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’ve worked hard all year to transform your body and improve your health, you can maintain those results and still enjoy your holidays.
Read on for three simple strategies you can use to navigate the holiday season.
With a little strategic planning, you can enjoy your favorite holiday treats while staying on track with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Write down the meals during which you’re going to allow yourself to enjoy your favorites—not just any treats, but the ones you really look forward to. Once you’ve allotted those meals, make a plan to compensate for those splurges by cutting a few extra calories during breakfast and lunch on the days you eat them. It’s also a great way to plan ahead so you can make sure to get the proper amount of nutrients as well.
Look up nutrition information in advance with a nutrition tracker or by reading labels so you can see if you really want to consume the calories that certain foods will cost you. For example, if you’re at work and someone brings in a tin of holiday cookies or fudge, quickly look it up to help you decide if you really want to indulge.
While what you eat is extremely critical to weight loss, it’s only part of the equation. Physical activity and exercise are also very important for burning calories and boosting overall health. During the holidays, make sure to prioritize your workouts. Don't skip them because you feel like you’re too busy with the holiday madness. In fact, you should work out more during the holidays to help keep the pounds at bay, reduce stress and stay motivated. Some of my nutrition counseling clients even work out 10 to 15 minutes longer during the holiday season to help stay on track and combat weight gain!
It takes our stomach at least 20 minutes to signal our brains that we’re full. Slow down! This will help you avoid overeating. Talk to others during the meal, chew every bite, and whatever you do, don’t rush! Take the time to actually enjoy your meal. You might end up eating less overall.
Use these tips to stay on track and continue to transform your body throughout the holiday season.