Avoiding holiday weight gain may sound as hard as Santa Clause fitting down millions and millions of chimneys on Christmas Eve, but there are numerous logical strategies you can try that will help you stay on track. Holidays bring along a myriad of family obligations, last-minute shopping sprees, and work parties that actually taking out time to hit the gym may become nearly impossible. However, with the following 3 ways, you will be able to maintain your fitness level even when your schedule is packed with chores and festivities.
1. Take advantage of every opportunity to stay active
Planning and preparing your exercise plans is ideal, but even the best-laid plans may get derailed, especially during the holiday season. If you find that there is absolutely no way to work out, you will need to get creative with what you currently have and find new ways to keep your body active. Here’s what you can do:
- Walk as much as you can. Use the stairs, take extra leaps at the mall, and volunteer to walk the dog.
- Set up a football game or any other fun and recreational activity.
- Offer to help around with house chores, such as raking leaves, shoveling snow, vacuuming the house, etc.
- Play a little running game with the kids, or ‘fetch’ with the dog.
- Start running in place. Regardless of how busy you are, you can always take out 5 to 10 minutes to jog in place. You don’t need a gym for this and neither do you have to step out of the house.
2. Eat Prior To Celebrating And Drinking
Skipping lunch or breakfast for the purpose of “saving your appetite” might be the worst thing you can do during the holidays, especially if you are watching your weight. By now, we all know the importance of having a good breakfast, but not eating until the afternoon may result in overeating later on. The best thing to do would be to have a reasonably sized breakfast that has plenty of protein. This will keep you fuller for longer and prevent you from stuffing your face later. Protein helps maintain a healthy weight since protein-rich diets are linked with greater satiety (plus they help with muscle growth). Good protein sources include roasted chicken, turkey, lentils, beans, quinoa, etc.
3.Use Smaller Plates
Plate sizes have expanded considerably over the years. Whenever possible, go for a smaller salad plate (8 to 10 inches) rather than a full-on plate (12 inches or more). If you use smaller plates, you will actually end up feeling fuller with less food. Our brain associates a big space on the plate with less food (and smaller plates usually require smaller portions.
Keeping your diet in check while being physically active will help you maintain your weight through the holidays.