The holidays are a difficult time for dieters or even for people who just want to maintain their present weight. Food plays an integral role in holiday celebrations making it far too easy to over-indulge. There are certain foods that are a once-a-year tradition and the knowledge they will only be available for a short time makes them even harder to resist.
It’s a festive time of year and you don’t want to miss out on it. In fact, if you deny yourself completely, chances are good you will “fall off the wagon” food-wise sometime in the near future due to feeling deprived. What you need is a plan to allow for a few extras without going completely overboard. The four tips below can help you with this:
Watch the Drinking
Generally holiday parties equate to holiday drinking – and that’s fine (unless you’re an alcoholic). But you need to remember alcoholic beverages contain a lot of empty calories. So go to that party determined to limit your alcoholic intake to one or two drinks.
HINT: Substituting wine for one of those sweet little numbers with the cute paper umbrellas will help keep the calorie count down.
Balance Your Calories Day to Day
Know ahead what you will and won’t eat. It will help if you don’t arrive at the party or meal hungry. Ha little something before you leave home to curb your hunger. In addition, if you monitor your food intake you can plan ahead for the extra calories by eating less for a few days beforehand. Don’t starve yourself; that will only work against your goals in the long-run. But count your food intake and eat only the basics for good nutrition in anticipation of the upcoming event.
Plan Your Workout Schedule In Advance
You DO have a workout schedule. Right? Please tell me you do. Now tell me you plan to up your game for a few weeks prior to facing all those delectable temptations.
It’s easy to get off your regular schedule during holiday time, when ideally you want to increase your exercise in anticipation of a little over-indulging. Many do this before taking a cruise (the ultimate test for a dieter!).
Make your workouts a little more demanding so as to lose five or ten pounds beforehand. This will allow you a little wiggle room (but not too much!) to regain that same amount during the holidays.
This can be done by incorporating an extra workout or two each week or by adding an extra fifteen or twenty minutes to your regular workouts. If you’re doing weight training, add in a little Cardio to the mix.
Get Enough Sleep!
Sleep is much more important to our well-being than it gets credit for. It is also often the first thing to go during holiday time. Don’t let that happen! Studies show lack of proper sleep can actually cause weight gain. It affects your hunger levels so it’s easier to give in to those nagging little cravings.
So enjoy those parties, but, unlike Cinderella, make an exit before the deadline. And have fun!