It's that time of year when people everywhere seem to push the scale in the wrong direction. It is the season of travel, holiday parties, and workplace potlucks after all. As wonderful as the holidays are, a growing waistline is anything but. So what can you do to limit the holiday weight gain this year? Well, believe it or not, it's simpler than you think.
There are a variety of strategies that help keep the extra weight at bay. Today's post isn't about telling you to just eat less. It's not even about telling you to eat more frequently. I mean those are options, I guess. But aren't we supposed to enjoy the holidays and the food that comes with it? You bet we are! So today I am going to give you 3 simple strategies for limiting holiday weight gain; strategies that aren't just easy to follow, but will also leave you feeling good, guilt free, and help preserve the joy of the holidays!
Follow these simple tips, and watch the scale stabilize this holiday season:
1. Bake Your Own Treats
Baked goods and desserts are obviously a big part of holiday tradition. Instead of buying frozen or store-made versions, spend some time baking your own desserts. Baking at home allows you to control the ingredients, especially the sugar content. Get your significant other, kids, and the whole family involved too. After all, the holiday's are about togetherness! Why not spend it making decadent treats with the your loved ones. So you're not much of a baker or you just want healthier options for holiday treats? Well check out the Fat-Burning Man's Gluten Free Dessert App available on iTunes.
2. Stay Active
Move as much as possible! On the days you know you're going to be eating more of, well lets just call it less than healthy food, engage in some form of fitness prior to digging in. Forget the long boring cardio too. Unless a nice long run is something you enjoy as a stress reliever or a type of head clearing or calming activity, don't waste your time. Instead, opt for some resistance training. Activating your muscles through resistance training prepares the muscles for the extra calories. Think of it as making room for dessert, but also think of it as maintenance. Although the idea of working off a cheat meal or outworking a poor diet has proven to be a huge mistake for the majority of the population, this short term strategy could get you through the holidays mostly unscathed. What's that? You don't have access to weights or just tight on time? Simply do some super slow eccentric (lowering phase) squats or push ups. Shoot for 10 seconds down on each and you'll quickly realize no equipment is necessary and a short 10 minutes of work is more than enough time.
3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Whether it's cider, hot chocolate, eggnog, or some type of alcoholic drink this time of year usually brings about a heavy flow of a variety of drinks not named water. Couple low water intake with sugary or alcoholic drinks, lots of travel, and poor nutrient intake and you're asking for trouble. Keeping water intake up is a simple way to avoid a metabolic dip and continue to support nearly every function in your body. Simply put, alcoholic, sugary, and caffeinated drinks all steal water from the body. When we consider how dependent our brain, muscles, and circulatory systems alone are on water, it's a no-brainer how important it is to stay hydrated. If you want to limit the fatigue, metabolic decline, and even reduced immune system most experience during the holidays be sure to keep adequate amounts of water coming in. Do this: start each day with 16-24oz of water before drinking anything else. Then drink 8oz every two hours AND 8oz before each meal even if that meal comes just before or just after the two hour mark.
Try these simple strategies this holiday season and head into the new year largely unscathed.