Health & Wellness

Published on December 19th, 2011 | by thevyne


Eight Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

By Siddiqu “The Personal Trainer of Chicago Fit 4 Life

Every year it’s the same thing! Clients lose a lot of weight then try to gain it all back in December, always making me a promise that they will get it off once the new year comes. Well guess what, why not just avoid putting it on in the first place, so you will have a jump start on the New Year? I know temptation is all around you, but here are 8 tips to deal with these tempting times:

1. Get moving – If you want to lose weight, exercise definitely helps, so why not exercise more everyday until the new year? You’re eating extra calories so you need extra exercise. If you exercise for 30 minutes a day, increase it to 45 minutes. If you exercise three times a week, move it up to five times a week. If you have a stationery bicycle or treadmill at home, dust it off and put it in front of the television or radio for some background entertainment while you’re exercising. This way you can watch your favorite television show and exercise at the same time?
Another idea, go to the library (or visit your itunes bookstore) and get a book on tape or CD, listen to it and read (so-to-speak) as you exercise.

2. Aim for seven-a-day – Making sure you eat seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day is a great way to help fill-up your stomach but not your calorie level. When compared to other snack foods like chips, crackers and cookies, gram for gram, fruits and vegetables contain fewer calories and tons more nutrients. What’s more – the fiber in fruits and vegetables fill you up faster than traditional snack foods. Pack your refrigerator with bags of cut-up vegetables and whole or cut-up fruits. Grab a bag while on the go or at work. Make a pact with yourself that you’ll eat your five-a-day before you snack on any cookies or other holiday treats. You’re sure to take in fewer calories overall.

3. Control the risk for temptation – Controlling even the slightest chance of coming in contact with ‘tempting’ foods is one way to effectively reduce your intake. While you won’t be able to control all situations, focus on the many ones you can. For example, do you keep candy or cookies at your desk or workspace? Do you frequent the dining room table or pantry where you store all your holiday goodies? Make a mental note of tempting places and try to control them. For example, make a pact with co-workers that goodies will be kept solely in the break room, not at the front desk or in various offices. Mentally plan out how you will avoid tempting situations. If you can’t avoid them entirely, see number 4.

4. Limit to one-a-day – While you can’t control every situation, you can control how much food goes into your mouth. If you are constantly bombarded with holiday parties and displays of desserts or candies you can still effectively help prevent overeating and weight gain. One way is the one-a-day method. Allow yourself one small serving of a cookie or piece of candy each day during the holiday season. Remember that you may have to compensate for it later in the day by reducing your total caloric intake or by burning a few extra calories while exercising. If you aren’t confronted with holiday foods that day, just skip your one-a-day – but don’t compensate and double-up on your serving the next day.

5. Never go to a party hungry- Before you go to a holiday party, eat a healthy snack such as a serving of your favorite fruit, fat-free yogurt or a low-fat, whole grain granola bar. When you arrive at the party, you won’t be craving hors d’oeuvres.

6. Be in charge of your party choices – Each item of food you consume is a choice so be smart about what you choose to eat. Stick with vegetables where you can but limit or avoid the creamy dips. Go easy on the cheese and if you must have a deep-fried appetizer, eat only one small serving. Best to steer clear of sauces as you have no idea how much cream and/or butter was used to make them.
Limit your calories from alcohol intake by opting for a light beer or wine followed by calorie-free drinks for the remainder of the evening.

7. Say No Politely – Many times you feel forced to eat foods because people keep putting it in front of you. Learn to say no politely. Sounds simple but you’d be surprised how many people feel guilty saying “no”. Next time you get asked to eat more when you know you’ve had your fill try saying “No thank you, I’ve had enough. Everything was delicious”, or “I couldn’t eat another bite. Everything tasted wonderful”. You’ll find saying no isn’t so hard to do after all.

8. Focus on socializing – Don’t stand around the food table when you’re at a party – focus your energies on making conversation with others instead of focusing on foods. Conversation is calorie-free.


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