The holiday season has begun, and everyone is in the Christmas spirit. This means parties, treats, and sugary snacks will be at an all time high. It is shown that the average person gains 1-2 pounds each holiday, and after the new year most people do not work to lose those pounds. Over time this weight gain accumulates and we eventually see a 10-20lb weight gain or sometimes more. With this in mind, here are some tips for avoiding the holiday weight gain this year.
Get on the Move!
It’s inevitable that you will indulge a little over the holidays, so to counteract the extra calories you may consume, you would be wise to increase your calorie output. Whether you are hitting the gym an extra day, walking an extra mile, or taking an extra dance or exercise class, pick up your exercise routine and burn away the guilt of that extra piece of holiday cake!
Be a healthy grazer
A great way to avoid the cravings, is to stay full on the healthy foods such as fruits, veggies, protein, and healthy snacks. Packing your lunch and including healthy snacks such as trail mixes, fruits, yogurt, or granola will keep you from feeling the pang that will lead to senseless snacking of office goodies that you know are no good.
Drink lots of water
The average person needs 64 oz of water daily. Having a 1 liter steel water bottle and sipping it from it frequently will ensure that you get this adequate hydration. In addition, the water will fill the stomach decreasing your desire to eat unhealthy snacks that may be laying around the office.
Drink Green or Oolong Tea
Green tea not only has great antioxidant value, but also helps to increase your metabolism helping you to burn more calories. As well, Oolong tea is filled with herbs that contain fat burning properties. Drink 1-2 cups per day for optimal effects. However if you are sensitive to caffeine, be careful. While these teas have much less caffeine than a cup of coffee or a cola, they are not caffeine free.
When you go to the holiday parties this year, be conscious to stop eating when you feel full. Take time to chew your food before you swallow, and drink a glass of water 30 minutes before your meal to help your stomach to begin to send early signals to your brain of satiety.
Enjoy one small piece of dark chocolate per day
To curb the sugar cravings that may kick in once you start tasting the sweets, head off with one or two squares of 70% or greater dark chocolate per day. This will release tryptophan in the brain which will help you to relax as well. Dark chocolate comes in many varieties, such as almond, various berries, banana, mint and more, so you are unlikely to get bored.
Finally, give yourself permission
We often desire more what seems forbidden. For this reason, I say allow yourself to enjoy the season and all of it’s glory! If you overstress or obsess about how many calories to eat, or what you “have to avoid” then you will end up triggering more anxiety, which could work against you to increase those cravings. Don’t be hard on yourself. Keeping the former tips in mind, do give yourself permission to splurge a little. The key principle is moderation.
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