The holiday season from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, is the hardest time for weight-conscious folk to maneuver successfully. From turkey with all the trimmings to chocolate fudge cake to candy canes, the end of the year offers an almost limitless supply of high-calorie temptations.According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the average person gains 0.2 percent more weight during Thanksgiving and 0.4 percent during Christmas. Those numbers aren’t as high as you may have suspected, but it can be difficult for some people to shed that extra weight as you enter the New Year.
Although it may be hard to avoid a second helping of peach cobbler or pumpkin pie, there are ways you can minimize weight gain during the holidays. Here are some of our favorites.
Be More Active During the Holiday Season
You’ll pack on pounds if you sit in front of the TV watching holiday specials and eating sweets. Shopping online while sipping eggnog makes your waistline thicker, too.
Choose a trip to the mall over online shopping. Get away from the TV to go ice skating, or put up outdoor Christmas decorations. Take a walk around the block with your family to admire your neighbor’s Christmas decorations. Even a short walk will get your blood circulating and give your endorphins a workout.
The holidays are a popular time for charity marathons, dance-a-thons, or walkathons. Sign up for fitness events at work or in your community. You’ll get plenty pf exercise, raise money for a good cause, and meet lots of new people.
Don’t neglect your regular workout or exercise schedule during the holidays. Go to the gym or take your morning walk as scheduled – you can always go shopping or visit relatives when you’re done.
Make Healthy Foods for Potluck Dinners
Instead of bringing a cake or pie to a holiday party, bring a salad, fresh fruit plate, or nuts. You’ll have something healthy to snack on instead of sweets. Fresh fruit like watermelon and apple slices will fill you up with their high water and fiber content. Choose crisp carrots or celery from the veggie platter, but avoid overloading on creamy dips.
Every holiday party is overloaded with desserts, alcohol and sugary snacks. Don’t feel tempted to try everything – stick with one or two of your favorite treats, and set a limit. Have no more than three cookies, a few pieces of candy, or one white wine sprizter instead of a Brandy Alexander or Kahlua and Cream.
Watch your portion sizes, too. People who scoop more food on their plate usually eat it all – and may go back for another helping. Use a smaller plate so you won’t be tempted to help yourself to larger portions.
Eat Wisely at Home
You know you’ll be attending lots of parties and family reunions during the holidays, and it can be tough to refuse a slice of fruitcake from your Aunt Martha or stop at your second helping of roast turkey with gravy. That’s why it’s important to reign in your eating at home. Keep sweets out of view so you won’t be tempted to snack on them as you clean up or decorate the tree.
Stock your fridge with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and the healthy foods you normally eat. Prepare meals at home. Don’t be tempted to order in, no matter how busy you are. You’ll save money as well as calories.
Don’t rush through meals or snacks.You’ll eat more if you’re watching TV or engaged in holiday tasks like wrapping presents while snacking. When you eat while you perform another task, you won’t notice your body telling you it’s full.
Chew slowly, and be aware of what you eat. Taste it and savor it. People often gulp down a meal-even during the holidays-without actually tasting the food. Enjoy your food. Talk with others at the table between bites, but turn off your phone and the TV. Research shows that you’ll eat more if you’re distracted by work or electronics.
The holidays are the most stressful time of the year for many people. Too much stress causes you to develop high levels of the hormone cortisol. This hormone may cause you to eat more and gain weight. Controlling your stress level reduces your desire to eat junk food and gives you more energy.
You can reduce stress by doing yoga, or at least doing a few stretches when you take a break from cooking or shopping. Meditate at night after a busy day of cooking, baking or shopping. Even five minutes of simple meditation can clear your mind near the end of a busy day.
You may want to cut down on sugary caffeinated drinks during your workday, or when you’re running errands. Caffeine will make you more nervous if you have a lot to do, and it’s important to maintain a calm demeanor when dealing with sales clerks, holiday traffic and demanding relatives.
Get Enough Sleep
No matter how busy you are, be sure to get seven or eight hours of sleep every night. People who don’t get enough sleep eat more, are tired during the day and exercise less. Poor sleepers tend to eat more fat and may consume 300 more calories the next day than people who get eight hours of sleep.
Avoid Holiday Weight Gain with Wheatgrass
Wheatgrass, often called nature’s superfood, is jam-packed with vitamins, minerals and amino acids to keep you energized during the holiday season. Wheatgrass also contains hundreds of enzymes to keep the chemical reactions in your body running smoothly.
Zeal O2 Natural Weight Loss Supplement and Energy Booster from Wheatgrass Love will help control your appetite safely during the holiday season. This fat-burning supplement boosts your metabolism with a proprietary blend of cayenne pepper, green tea extract, gotu kola, guarana extract and other herbs. You’ll eat less and have more energy to help you get through the Thanksgiving through New Year roller coaster with succumbing to seasonal temptations.
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