How to Lose Weight over the Holidays

by Head Health Nutter on December 14, 2010

Holiday weight gain and the havoc sweets & alcohol have on our system often leaves us in a post-holiday funk. Armed with info and choices, it doesn’t have to be that way. Last post we covered Healthier Holiday Bevvies and today, Shirley Simpson shares a few holiday weight-loss tips!

Weight loss is a problem for many people. And the thought of shedding those extra pounds over the holidays, a time of year that is traditionally characterized by unchecked eating, may seem ludicrous. But bear with me, here. It’s not as hard as you think.

In fact, this is the perfect time of year to undertake your weight-loss goals, before you pack on those holiday pounds and have to face the New Year (and another resolution) several pounds heavier than the year before.

If you just follow a few simple guidelines to get through the impending feeding frenzy brought on by the season, you can not only maintain your current weight, but actually start to lose before the year is out.

For starters, avoid certain foods. This will likely be the most difficult part since your mom might just start crying if you turn down a second (and third) slice of her famous chocolate cake. Explain to your family and friends that you are trying to turn over a new leaf and make a better you, they will probably be more than happy to help out.

That said, almost everything can be consumed in moderation.

One item you should certainly try to avoid: alcohol. Not only are most forms of alcohol pretty high in calories, they will also lower your inhibitions, which is no good if you’re trying to control yourself. A glass of wine certainly won’t kill you, but try not to go beyond that. From there, you will want to prepare yourself for the calorie-laden meal to come.

A great way to approach an impending feast at which there will be a lot of “bad” food is to preface it with a few days of healthier eating. Cut down on calories leading up to your family meal by sustaining a diet that is high in vegetables, whole grains and lean protein sources.

There are a lot of ways to get your fill of food without consuming mass amounts of calories, and by cutting back on your intake before you begin feasting you will be able to enjoy many of your favorite foods guilt-free. Don’t take this as an invitation to starve yourself, though. If you don’t eat anything, your metabolism will slow so that when you finally eat, it will all go into storage rather than getting burned off.

Keep your goal in sight. Resist viewing your good behavior beforehand as an excuse to go hog wild. Remember: everything in moderation. You’re going to have to show a bit of restraint by limiting yourself when you sit down for a holiday meal.

There are a couple of ways to do this:

  • You can start by filling a salad-size plate instead of a larger dinner plate. This way you’ll be forced to take less of everything, so that if you want a lot of different foods, you’ll only be able to have a couple bites of each.
  • Don’t even think about going back for seconds. A sampling is all you really need and you’ll probably find that this is the first time in years you don’t end up feeling ill after stuffing your face with mom’s cooking.
  • Try eating slowly and savouring every bite. This will help you to feel satisfied even though you’re actually eating less.

And of course, exercise. During this stressful time of year, 30 minutes of activity, even a couple of times a week (although 3-4 is better) will not only get you burning calories and feeling great, it will also help to relieve anxiety and clear your head. In addition, it will give you the energy you need to complete the many tasks you face this holiday season, as well as giving you the motivation you need to stick to your health plan and reach the New Year as a newly fit you.

About the Author

Shirley Simpson writes for AdvanceMe, the nation’s leading merchant cash advance provider and credit card factoring company.

A couple more ideas: resist your typical treats (like pop, chips, candy) and save yourself solely for holiday treats; enjoy calorie-reduced drinks (like low-cal eggnog); and while socializing, take a break from the food. What are your holiday weight-loss tips?

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