By Chris Dato • November 20, 2014
Despite the jovial spirit of the holidays, it seems like there is never a shortage of things to do. With gifts to buy, decorations to put up, family to see, meals to cook, tables to set, and so many other holiday priorities, the one thing it is not the season of is weight loss. But instead of waiting until the first of the New Year to try to salvage your shape like the rest of the country, stay ahead of your curves with these tips for staying fit through the holidays.
One of the main culprits in this seasonal assault on your waistline is the influx of indulgent food. Suddenly, every dinner becomes a seven-course meal with buffet style servings and everyone in your family telling you to take more. A great way to avoid overdoing it at dinner is by not showing up on an empty stomach. Before you head out the door on your, grab a small snack for yourself, preferably something high in protein. A handful of almonds or a scoop of peanut butter is the perfect way to get rid of that ravenous feeling without ruining your appetite. For more healthy suggestions, check out these tips for smarter snacking.
Don’t bother trying to avoid big meals all together. Not only will this ruin your holiday experience and likely offend a host or two, but you also won’t be doing your figure any favors. Skipping meals has detrimental effects of your digestion and metabolism according to Men’s Health Magazine, and you could end up doing more harm than good. Instead, practice moderation. An easy rule is to limit yourself to one serving of the foods you would typically indulge in, that way to can avoid the negative result without depriving yourself. Also, do your best to enjoy healthy meals between big dinners.
While it is probably not a shock that the extravagant food of the holidays contributes to the problem at hand, few of us are actually aware of how many calories that alcoholic beverage contains. The festive cocktails that we tend to enjoy during the holidays are typically loaded with sugar. These liquid calories add up quickly, and before you know it that second Christmas cosmopolitan could be undoing all of your hard work. Drinking a glass of water before and between drinks will not only fill you up faster, but it is also a great defense against tomorrow’s holiday hangover.
Also, why not try out some seasonal and slimming Christmas cocktails? For instance egg nog is a seasonal staple for many, although it is not great for keeping your figure. We found this great recipe for skinny eggnog that tastes delicious but is low in fat and calories. There are tons of recipes for low-calorie cocktails, so make an evening out of everyone coming over and sharing their favorites!
The last key to keeping your figure from Thanksgiving to New Years is to make time for working out. This can be a difficult task to motivate yourself to do at any point in the year, but this is especially true during the holidays. With the added chaos of Christmas, spare time tends to be in short supply. It is essential to make a workout schedule, even if it is not extremely strict. Getting a workout in first thing in the morning will likely not interfere with any family plans, and is a great way to get yourself ready for the day’s festivities.
Don’t think that you need to set aside hours at a time to work out either. Find time in the day to squeeze in short sweat sessions, just to keeps the calories burning. These can include simple resistance exercises like push-up or sit-ups. These are great because you can do that around the house whenever you find yourself with an extra few minutes.
In short, the key to staying slim through the first of the year is discipline. Taste the foods you love without gorging, sip your cocktail and remember water, and stick to a workout schedule. Most importantly, however, remember to enjoy yourself. Don’t lets a couple extra cookies or a night cap squander your holiday cheer, they are as much a part of the season as giving gifts or a coworker making a fool of themselves at the Christmas party. Plus, there will be plenty of time to work it off after the first.
Chris Dato A Southern California kid born and raised, Chris is happiest with sunglasses on his face and sand under his back. Although a self-proclaimed master money saver, he prefers the term 'responsibly frugal' to 'cheap.'