1. Track your food: yes, this can seem tedious especially during an already busy season, but it helps keep you more accountable and aware of your intake. Plus, “a little” here and “a little” there can add up to a lot really quick.
2. Plan / visualize your meals and snacks ahead of time: it’s important to continue maintaining somewhat of a schedule over the holidays. Just like with tracking your food, planning ahead of time really helps to keep you on track. For instance, if you know you’re going to have more calories at lunch than you typically would, then cut back some of the breakfast calories that day.
3. Plan your exercise times and make sure they’re a priority: schedule your exercise times just like you would an appointment; this increases your accountability to sticking with a fitness routine, even over the holidays.
4. Choose water: around the holidays individuals are more apt to choose juices, soda, teas, or alcohol over water - don’t do it. Sticking to water not only helps maintain your hydration status, but it also helps you stay fuller and with no calories, I might add!
5. Re-gift candy and treats: a lot of stockings contain chocolate or candy, these items are perfect to re-gift to someone else. Just because you receive food or treats as gifts doesn’t mean you have to eat them. If it’s home-baked goods, you can always take them to a neighbor or donate them at your local food pantry and/or homeless shelter.
6. Go 10 more minutes: even just adding 10 extra minutes to your exercise routine during the holidays can make a huge difference. Even if you can’t add in 10 extra minutes all at once, adding in extra lunges, squats, or jumping jacks throughout the day will help create an even larger calorie deficit (that’s required to lose weight).
7. Don’t sweat the small stuff: chances are that over the holiday, you’re going to have a little more to eat in one day than you typically would; that’s okay. One day of going over your allowed caloric intake isn’t going to instantly make you gain 10 lbs. The key is ensuring you get back on track the very next day. Remember, it’s a holiDAY, not a holiWEEK.
8. Moderation is the key: we all know that holidays seem to revolve around delicious home-cooked meals and the best desserts of all year. Just because you’re watching your weight doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in any of those goodies. In fact, it would just be wrong not too! The key though is watching your portion sizes and keeping those delicious but unhealthy things, moderated. For instance, maybe you split the dessert with someone else instead of taking an entire piece for yourself.
9. Slow down and focus on family: although it may seem like the holiday completely revolves around food, remember that in actuality, it doesn’t. Focus on family and making lasting memories, instead of of focusing on what snack you’ll eat next or where your next meal will be; enjoy your time together. Also, don’t shovel it in as quickly as you can, regardless how good it tastes. There’s roughly a 20 minute delayed signal between the stomach and your brain to let you know you’re full. If you eat slower, you’ll be more apt to notice this signal, and then of course, stop eating.
10. Keep your eye on the prize: if you find yourself debating whether to skip that workout or not, remind yourself why you started and why it’s important not to “slide” through the holidays. If you find yourself with that third piece of pie in your hand, remind yourself how hard you’ve worked to get where you are and ask yourself if that third piece of pie is going to help or hurt your overall goal. It’s important to remind yourself always, but especially through the holidays, that YOU are in control - not the other way around.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the New Vision Team!