The holiday season is finally here. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's are all around the corner. My birthday is also included in the upcoming holidays, but I'll save that for another post. It's no secret that we love eat around time. We pile our Thanksgiving dinner plates up and dessert, most of the time without thinking about a carb or a calorie. We stuff our faces at holiday parties with sweets and treats, drinks like Egg Nog and sweets like Sweet Potato Pie. And, we load our bodies with alcohol as we ring in the new year. And, that's fine, the holiday season is a time to enjoy yourself and your family, however if you strive to live a healthy lifestyle daily there are certain steps that can be taken to ensure you don't gain too much weight during the holiday season.
1. Fit the gym into your schedule
Waking up on the morning of a holiday is not impossible; going to the gym before you stuff your face is a great way to prepare your body. Also, if you wake up the next morning to sweat out the liquor and jog off some of the food your body will thank you. Just eating, drinking, and not moving is not helping to avoid weight gain at all. The holiday season can get hectic with shopping for family and friends, attending parties, and more, but don't forget to still add the gym into your schedule, because you still want to look good in your holiday outfits!
2. Drink a lot of water
Water is the key to life. Drinking water is so beneficial from the way it removes toxins from the body to the way it reduces bloating. Those that practice a healthy lifestyle know that a gallon of water is the recommended serving, and during this holiday season to avoid gaining weight drinking a gallon of water can help tremendously. Holiday party alcoholic drinks can add up; enjoy the open bar, but for every drink you have challenge yourself to drink two water bottles. Personally, I like detox water. I put lemon, cucumber, and mint leaves in my water and let it do the work itself.
3. Pace yourself
Take your time. It's not a race to finish your food, your plate isn't going anywhere. A study done titled, "The Behavioral Science of Eating," conducted by the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research found that eating on smaller plates can curb overeating and reduce how much you serve yourself. I understand Thanksgiving is a holiday to pig out, that's cool, but when you're at a holiday party with tons of food you don't need everything! Eat slow, and eat smart. Remember, mind over matter. You're only as hungry as you tell yourself you are.
4. Set Limits
Establish in your head before hand your plan. If you know you're invited to 4-5 holiday parties on top of spending Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's with your family then set limits in your head. Understand that if you're drinking a lot of alcoholic drinks at a New Year's Eve Party, then maybe you don't need to indulge in alcoholic drinks and sweets the week before on Christmas. Setting limitations may be hard, but it takes a lot of willpower and it's worth it.
5. Don't Arrive Starving
The holidays are a time to be thankful for family, friends, co-workers, and anyone in your life. Most parties and gatherings are about enjoying each other's company, so try to focus on that more than stuffing your face every time you go to a holiday gathering. If you arrive hungry you're going to eat every cookie, cake, and drink in your sight. Eat something light before you go so you don't stuff yourself. However, on Thanksgiving, that's different — eat and enjoy!
Don't forget your goals this holiday season and let go of your hard work when the season passes. As soon as the holiday's are over it's crunch time, because Summer '17 preparation starts now!