By Batista Gremaud
While most programs focus on losing weight, it may be an overly ambitious goal at this time of year. There is so much temptation to overeat, saturating your body with unhealthy calories you'll probably regret later. Here's what you can do instead to avoid extra weight gain: Shift your mindset and practice the zero-pound challenge.
Redirect your focus from unrealistic weight loss to simply not weighing 1 pound more on New Year's Day than you do today; you'll be light years ahead of most people. This way, there will be no need for New Year's Resolutions (which usually fail, anyway) or extreme diet or exercise come January. Instead, you'll be able to settle back into a regular, less arduous routine.
To keep your weight stable during the Holidays and still fit in your jeans in January, you need to burn an equal amount of calories as you eat throughout the entire season! Ok, Not so simple. Nobody wants to weigh and measure their food or count calories every day.
The best principle we can follow to control calories without counting them is focusing on foods with higher intensity and lower calories. In other words, your friends are fruits, vegetables, and lean, high-quality proteins.
Follow the tips below to avoid Holiday weight gain.
Snack on Fruits & Veggies
Snacking on fruits and vegetables can be essential to creating a healthy eating plan and help you avoid overeating at the buffet or dinner party. For example, apples and carrots will help fill your stomach without adding extra calories. The fiber found in fruits and vegetables also makes you feel full so that you don't go for seconds or thirds at the buffet. Plus, they contain a lot of water and will keep you hydrated and combat any alcohol you may have consumed. Additionally, snacking on fruits and vegetables can ensure you get the necessary vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
Bringing a platter of fruits and vegetables to share at the dinner party can also be a great way to contribute to a healthier collective mindset. Healthy options can make the buffet more enjoyable and help everyone avoid starchy and sugary dishes. In addition, eating smaller portions of some more unhealthy items is a great way to enjoy the meal without overindulging.
Don't refrain from eating during the day in anticipation of the family dinner party or the upcoming buffet. If you avoid food throughout the day, you'll be more likely to overeat at dinner. Additionally, starving yourself can cause a drop in blood sugar levels, making you feel irritable and light-headed. Nutritionists often advise against starving yourself during the day to save for a big dinner or buffet.
But on the other hand, eating small snacks or meals every few hours will help to keep your metabolism going and avoid those extreme hunger cravings.
Eating slowly is an effective way to manage calorie intake because it gives your body time to process the signals of fullness and satisfaction. It also encourages mindful eating, which helps you know when you have achieved a feeling of fullness rather than eating until your plate is empty. Besides controlling your calorie intake, mindful eating enables you to recognize how food affects your mood and energy level, which can help prevent overeating in the future. On the contrary, eating quickly makes it much easier to overeat, which can add up to a lot of extra calories and fat.
Eating slowly has many benefits, including reducing the risk of obesity, reducing hypertension, and improving digestion. People who eat slowly feel fuller for longer and are less likely to snack afterward.
In addition, it's relatively easy to do, put down your utensils in between bites, chew your food thoroughly, and take deep breaths between bites. Taking your time can also be enjoyable and help you appreciate the flavor and texture of your food.
If you're going out to dinner, research the menu ahead of time. Decide on a healthier option by substituting veggies instead of starch. This way, you will not be as tempted by the rich, unhealthy choices the restaurant is trying to dazzle you with.
If you're going to a holiday party, use my "pre-eating" strategy. Before heading to the event, have a protein shake, raw veggies, or fruit. The all-you-can-eat buffet and hors-d'oeuvres will look less delicious once you remove some of the edges from your hunger.
Start with those if the buffet offers shrimp cocktails or high-quality protein options. You'll be less likely to splurge on the deserts or the cheese and crackers.
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Sabotage Mind Set
If you believe that you won't be able to resist all the rich food options or make time for exercise during the holiday season, what's going to happen?
You're going to indulge in all the rich food options, and your workout clothes aren't going to get much of a workout.
But we can oversteer in the other direction, too. For example, deciding that you're going to eat nothing other than salad and grilled chicken while walking 5 miles until New Year's is unrealistic.
Be reasonable. Don't try to be perfect. You can commit to something you're 80 percent certain you can stick to daily.
It could be:
A vigorous walk two times per week
Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
Drinking more water
Most importantly, keep it simple. Don't try to be perfect.
Imperfect action and a realistic plan will work much better.
One more thing: If you're currently exercising, don't stop! Let's acknowledge that our calorie intake will be up a bit this month, so it's the worst possible time to take a break from your workouts.
And if you are not exercising, get started now; why wait until the New Year?
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Batista Gremaud is the CEO and president of Dr. Fitness International, International Body Designer, Strength Training Expert, No1 Best Selling author of Feminine Body Design, Empowering Fitness For A Pain-Free Life, co-creator of the Feminine Body Design online strength training mentoring system, co-host of the Esoteric Principles of Bodybuilding, and producer of the Dr. Fitness USA’s show; Recipient of the most outstanding fitness program 2019 by The Winners Circle, Mastermind at Sea.
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