It’s just under 4 weeks until Christmas and we all know there will be more parties, dinners, and events to be tempted by. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to some of your favourite drinks or food but there’s a couple of ways in doing it. You can be like most who simply say, ‘Ah the heck with it, I’ll wait until January and then hit it hard and not worry now if I gain any weight’. Trust me, this is so easy to do but when that time comes to drop the inches and fat gain it’s much harder than if you had some rules to follow. Not only that, but each time a person gains weight and then tries to lose it it becomes many times harder to reach your previous weight, let alone your ideal (or goal) weight. There’s the smart way which is a balance between enjoyment and some self control. A saying I like to keep in the back of mind is, ‘Anything worth having is hard work’. So, yes there will be times that you are really tempted but that food (or drink) will always be there tomorrow. It’s just a matter of choosing when you want to (and should) indulge. Below I will provide a number of tips to help you coast through Christmas without a hitch.
1.) Eat light during the day – For those planned events or work parties try to eat light throughout the day so the extra calories in the evening won’t be as detrimental. In fact, it’s best to cut down your carb intake and focus on getting your protein in every 2-3 hours.
2.) Pick your events – that is, pick the events you go to where you will enjoy whatever your hearts content. If you have more than one party in a week than pick one to indulge in and the other where you limit your choices. In fact, it’s better to eat before you leave your house to have an easier time saying no.
3.) Try to get a workout in before you go out – One of the best times to consume extra (and bad) calories is after an intense, good workout. Your muscles will be depleted and starving for some carbs and calories.
4.) If you’re at a buffet – take a once over at all of the food before filling your plate. Then make it a rule to fill half your plate with vegetables only, and watch out for creamy and saucy dishes. Then be selective with the type of protein and carbs you will have. If you’re limited you will be smarter in your choices than just loading up on whatever is there.
5.) Give your leftovers away – If you’re hosting a party and have leftovers give them away to avoid the temptation the next morning. Or if you brought some ‘not-so-good for you’ appetizers to a potluck then leave them there. It’s like the saying, ‘out of sight, out of mind’.
6.) Stay strong – Many a time you’ll have your friends and family push you towards trying their new dish or dessert and that’s great but if it’s not something you eat (and your GI tract probably wouldn’t agree with it either) then politely tell them thanks but your sensitive to foods you don’t typically eat. Or just sample a bite to appease them. It’s all about balance and understanding. It’s not being rude by saying no, it’s just a healthy lifestyle. With so much chemical processing in foods today there’s no better time than to be watchful of what you put in your mouth.
7.) Limit alcohol – they say it takes about an hour for the liver to metabolize one alcoholic drink. So while that’s happening other metabolic processes are slowed right down. So if you’re munching on some cream cheese puffs and sipping wine, that food will sit there much longer than you’d think. And guess where it will end up? Bulging somewhere you don’t want it to.
8.) Always, always, always have a snack (or two) with you in your purse or car – if you’re running errands or Christmas shopping always leave the house on a full stomach and have a snack with you. I can’t stress how often I hear it that people will go shopping for a whole day without eating anything and then when they get home eat everything in sight! Or better yet, they stop off at a drive through on their way home because they get tunnel vision on eating and eating now, no matter what it is! I like this 5 P Principle, ‘Proper Planning Prevents Poor Practices’.
9.) Perform fasted cardio the morning after a big meal – if you go all out on a Saturday, get up and do a good 45 min – 1 hour of cardio Sunday morning. And if you’re like most who can’t go without their coffee then have a cup beforehand to further dip into the fat burning.
So, there you have it. Some tips that will hopefully help you coast through the season staying on track, feeling good about yourself, and one step closer to your goals come the New Year!
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