It’s that time of year again. Time to celebrate, rejoice and getting together with friends, family and five straight weeks of food and fun. While some of us look forward to the holiday season, others are filled with dread. It’s hard enough sticking to a workout regimen with our normal, everyday lifestyles. Throw in the holiday season…and you’re doomed for failure.
So how do you enjoy the holidays and not gain weight? Here are five simple tips to help you enjoy the holiday season without putting on the pounds.
Set Party Goals
Set goals ahead of time to help you stay focused when attending each holiday gathering. Decide how much you will eat before you get there. To the best of your ability choose foods that are healthy and high in fiber. Try to make sure you eat at least one serving of fruit and one serving of vegetables. The high fiber in fruits and vegetables will help you feel fuller longer which leaves very little room for over indulging.
Keep in mind the one holiday party will not add pounds to your waistline. However, turning everyday into a holiday party definitely will. To combat the urge plan to eat only one holiday treat at your home or office each day but also plan on declining the many other offers of food and party treats that come your way.
Offer to Bring a Dish
Take your favorite healthy dish to the party like a veggie salad with low fat dip or baked chicken with brown rice. This will guarantee that there is at least one healthy option available to eat.
Don’t Drink Your Calories
We are usually more aware of the food that we eat than the liquids we drink. Most holiday drinks contain 500 calories or more. Eggnog, for instance, has 360 calories per cup. Cutting your calorie intake during the holiday season can be extremely helpful. However, be careful not to deplete your carbohydrate intake. Muscles need carbohydrates to function so keep them nourished. Calorie intake should never drop below 1,200 for women and 1,800 for men. Try to drink as if you are the designated driver even if you are not. Your body will love you for it!
Step up Your Workout
Increasing or intensifying your workouts to keep the calories burning is an essential to keeping the weight off during the holiday season. Your busy schedule may not allow you to add an extra day of exercise to your regimen, but increasing your intensity level will surely do the trick.
One of the most effective forms of cardiovascular exercise is Interval Training. Interval Training is alternating burst of high intensity activity with intervals of low intensity, light activity. Take walking for instance. Incorporate short, 30 second bursts of jogging into your regular brisk walking routine and you have just super charged your workout.
Remember the Reason for the Season
The true reason for the holiday season is to celebrate, rejoice and gather with friends and family. Focusing on the people you love rather than food you love is a key component to enjoying the holiday season without putting on the pounds.