From Halloween throughout Christmas, most people in the US are bombarded with sweet snacks which are calorie packed and low on the nutrient scale. Yes, I am guilty of indulging myself during the holidays – as are many. However, this year it can be different. This year, we can stave off those extra pounds without sacrificing some of the things we love. It all centers around our dedication to remain in a healthy frame of mind.
What Can Be Done To Keep the Calories at Bay?
Remember, you’re not simply going to be fixated on calories when trying to lose weight and become more healthy. Nutrition needs to be considered as well. Although there are a lot of bad foods out there for the holidays, keeping your wits together when it comes to eating can help you maintain your weight throughout this difficult time of year. Then all you have to worry about are the chocolates at Valentine’s Day.
- Proper Portion Sizes: One of the most important aspects you need to keep in mind is proper portion sizes. If you serve Thanksgiving dinner according to what a portion really is, you can get enough food without skimping on things like potatoes and gravy. In fact, you might be surprised by how much you can eat at dinner especially if you monitor your calorie intake using tools such as MyFitnessPal.
- Keep Up the Cardio: Keep the body moving. If it’s too cold to go for a walk, doing something indoors. It’s all about physical movement, and getting as much as you can allows your body to burn up excess calories stored for energy. Personally, I plan on doing some walking after dinner – after I bundle up in my ski coat that is.
- Use “Light” Alternatives: Many products that are deemed as “Light” often have far less calories than there counterparts. In many cases, these versions can taste almost as good. In fact, a lot of the items that are light also have far less sodium and carbs as well.
- Drink Less Soda: You don’t have to cut out pop altogether, but each can may have more than 150 calories each. If you need something flavored, consider products like Mio Water Enhancer – which comes in a variety of flavors and has 0 calories.
- Help in the Kitchen: Depending on the household, those in the kitchen may welcome the extra hands. This will help you keep the body moving. Any physical activity is better than parking it on the couch to watch a football game. Depending on the layout of the house, you might be able to do both.
- Shovel Snow/Rake Leaves: While you’re waiting for dinner to be done, why not grab a rake or shovel and help outside? You can burn a great amount of calories doing manual labor, and it can go a long way for appreciation if you’re a guest at someone’s home.
- Don’t Go Wild On Desert: Desert is part of the Thanksgiving dinner experience in most households. However, it can also be one of the most sugar and calorie rich moments. Have your desert, but don’t go gonzo with the ice cream or pie. Keep your portion sizes appropriate.
- Drink More Water: One trick that I’ve found to work exceptionally well is by drinking more water to ease the tension of hunger. It can fill you up and reduce the amount of food you feel like you need to eat. When ever I start feeling like I’m starving, I down eight ounces of water. This usually keeps the growling at bay for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
- Outdoor Play: Depending on the weather, you can always go outside and play with the kids or some adult one-on-one basketball. I remember times when we would spend several hours outside in the park playing touch football. The longer you can keep the pulse rate of your heart up, the more calories you’ll burn during the activity.
- Exercise Before and After Dinner: Personally, I plan on doing a set of exercises before dinner and a set after. This is probably going to be nothing more than playing the Xbox Kinect for a half hour each time, but It’ll burn a great deal of energy. I’m not saying you should do sit-ups on a full stomach, but committing to cardio will do wonders for helping you get ready for Black Friday the next morning. If you serve proper portion sizes, you won’t have to worry about hurling your dinner during an after-meal-workout.
Last Year, I set myself back. I lost more than 20 pounds before the holiday season – and then gained it all back for a variety of excuses. It’s hard, but you need to exercise self-control when it comes to being bombarded by the goodies at every store. Commit yourself to getting into better physical shape and believe in yourself. Most diet programs emphasize on self-reliance to overcome food disorders like mine – and for good reason. Your mindset will be the deciding factor whether any diet or exercise plan will succeed or not. Do what needs to be done this season and stave off the extra pounds.