The Holiday Weight Survival Guide

Ho…Ho…Uh Oh

It’s that time of year again. The holiday season is upon us (Christmas, New Years, etc), and so is the time of year many seem to pack on some extra pounds.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

It is possible to actually enjoy the many holiday parties and still maintain your weight.

Hey I’ll be the first one to tell you NOT to stay home, and go out and have some fun. Of course fun doesn’t have to mean drinking egg nog till you are sick or diving into a dessert tray either.

It just means that you do not have to deprive yourself of holiday foods altogether or become a social hermit.

So here are some tips and tricks on how to survive and enjoy this season.

Don’t Show up Hungry

Your number one enemy at the holiday party is going to be hunger/ cravings and overeating because of it.

If you haven’t eaten in a while, your body will respond by giving you the hunger sensation and cravings for sweets and sugar once you see all that food layed out.

It’s kind of like why shopping for foods on an empty stomach is also a bad idea, as the temptation is high to give into buying sweets and other foods you probably don’t really need.

Same goes for the holiday party spread. Have something simple to eat that is somewhat filling an hour or so before you go. You will cut down your chances of attacking the gingerbread cookies once you walk in the door.

Drink Plenty of Water

Water is essential for many reasons. It is key for cellular functions, removal of toxins and in the case for weight management it will keep you feeling full (and have less chances of going hungry or cravings as seen in Tip #1).

Damage at the holiday party can also come from drinking too many “festive” drinks (which also tend to be higher in calories).

Do you know how many calories are in a glass of Egg Nog? Here’s some shocking numbers:

Wow! Now who has a small cup only 8 oz (as most “normal” size glasses are 12-16 oz)? And who only has one glass? Just 2 drinks alone of Egg Nog are putting you at 700 calories without even focusing on the food!

So a simple trick is that after every “festive” drink, make your next drink a glass of water. Alternate all night long between festive drinks and water (you will be surprised how much better you may feel the next day too)!

*Disclaimer: This is not advocating the (over)consumption of alcoholic drinks. Enjoy in moderation and be responsible.

Small Plate/Cup and Many Trips

When we are talking about losing weight everyone has heard about calories and portions. Well it makes sense that the bigger the portions are, the more calories there will be.

You can enjoy most anything if you really want to, but you have to make sure you do not eat more than you really should.

Many people at a gathering tend to be on the “See-Food” diet. That is if they see food in front of them on the plate, they will eat and snack at it all night until it is all gone.

Forget those big full size plates and piling on everything you see. Those are the reason people eat more even when they are full (that “see-food” issue).

Instead get the smallest plate possible and take a few items. Sit down, chew your food, talk with others and let your food digest a little. It takes a while for the sensation of hunger to go away even after you have eaten.

If you are still wanting more later on, get back up and get another small portion. Force yourself to make more than just one trip and when you are finally done, throw the plate out. Leave nothing sitting in front of you at the table.

Use the same strategy for those holiday “drinks” with the smallest cup too.

Be Active Daily

What do you find in common with people who are in great shape? Chances are they lead an “active” lifestyle along with eating right. It not only helps burn a few extra calories, but also just puts you in a better frame of mind (happier and more conscious about what you eat).

You don’t have to go to the gym to be active, you just have to keep your body moving and don’t fall for all the shortcuts and other distractions (watching TV, sitting at the computer) of modern society.

Find ways to stay active even around the holidays such as:

Know that consistency is the real key to any weight loss success, and consistency is another word for a lifestyle. Make it fun and enjoyable, and you will also be less stressed over the little things. It’s all a choice.

Get Out There and Socialize

Emotional eating is a big issue during the holidays. Don’t be afraid to get out of the house, go to parties and talk to everyone there.

If you are going to a party where you don’t know anyone, be adventurous and go talk to new people. If you are shy, then write down or memorize an opening question to spark a good conversation.

People love to talk about themselves so ask what inspires them, what their goals are, what they enjoy to do for hobbies, get to know all about the person. Or just get on the dance floor and have some fun.

The more you are socializing, the less chance you are giving into emotional eating compulsions (and the happier you will feel).

My Way to Prepare for A Party

Here’s a “top secret” used by many trainers, fitness models, and actors/ actresses. It’s based on cycling in periods of lower calories to help combat a temporary high calorie time (lowering the average calorie load over days). Also known as “calorie cycling”.

OK not really that top secret, but still something you can easily implement. All you need to do when planning on going to a party (and eating “more”) is use lower calorie days leading up to it. You can also use some after. Simple right?

Here’s how I go about it:

This plan allows me the lower calories and increased muscle sensitivity to glucose that I can take with me into a party. Then I can enjoy it responsibly and not feel restricted or sit in the corner depressed eating celery sticks.

So go enjoy the season, and don’t wait till after New Years to make a resolution to lose weight. You can start right now. It’s your choice after all, so make it today!

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