How to Lose Weight During the Holidays

Holidays

 

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight during the holiday season, you know how hard it is to avoid overeating and splurging at the dessert table. I, personally, load up on carbs. I LOVE mashed potatoes, stuffing and red velvet cake, which is really bad for someone who is pre-diabetic!

So, is it even possible to lose weight during the holidays?

Yes, and here are a few tips to help you to lose weight this upcoming holiday season… or at least help you avoid gaining weight!

1. Don’t Combine Alcohol and Dessert

As much as you want to, don’t drink your alcohol with your pumpkin pie. Try to have one or the other, but if you feel you have to have both, space out alcohol and cake by a couple of hours. Eating both together will cause your body to go straight into fat storing mode.

2. Eat Slowly

Savor each bite. Really enjoy your meal. Studies have shown that people who are mindful while they are eating, not only eat less, but are also more satiated after a meal.

3. Start Your Day with Caffeine

AM Caffeine

Research shows that you’ll burn 85 to 100 percent more calories when you start your day with a cup of coffee or tea. Caffeine revs up your metabolism.

4. No Taste Testing!

When you’re cooking dinner, don’t taste test the food. Have someone else taste test instead. If you do have to taste your seasoning, limit yourself to one taste before and after you season, and only take a small taste. Not a giant scoop.

5. Take a Walk After Dinner

Instead of allowing yourself to go into a food coma and binge watching Master of None on Netflix, go for a walk around the neighborhood about 30 minutes after dinner. Getting a little exercise will help burn off some of those extra calories and alleviate that “food coma” feeling.

6. Don’t Skip Breakfast!

You may be tempted to avoid eating breakfast or lunch on Thanksgiving in an effort to “save up” calories and allow yourself to splurge. That’s actually the worst thing you can do. When you show up to dinner, you’ll end up eating much more than you wanted to eat.

breakfast

AND, since skipping breakfast puts your body in starvation mode, it will be primed to store the calories you consume instead of burning them. It’s best to eat a large breakfast that is protein and fiber rich, as well as a healthy lunch to prevent overeating at dinner.

7. Get in Your Regular Workout

Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you can skip your regular workout. If you normally workout in the afternoon and have dinner scheduled in your workout slot, get up a bit earlier and get in your exercise. Or, if you just can’t get up early, get your workout in before bed time. Just make sure you finish about an hour before you actually hit the hay, otherwise you may be too energized to fall asleep!

8. Don’t Beat Yourself Up for Splurging

If you do end up splurging on dinner and dessert, don’t beat yourself up over it. We all have our weaknesses (we all know my weakness is Oreos!). If you’ve been “good” recently, a one day splurge isn’t going to wreck your progress. That’s not permission to splurge, but if you do, it’s not worth making yourself feel bad over it.

9. Stay Hydrated

If you know you’ll be drinking at dinner, or before, be sure to drink enough water. Alcohol causes dehydration and many people mistake thirst for hunger, which means you may overeat the following day because you’re dehydrated. Drinking plenty of water will also help alleviate a hangover since those nasty headaches are caused by your brain being dehydrated.

A good rule of thumb is to have 8oz of water for every drink you have. Probably not practical when you’re hanging out with family and friends, but may help you rehydrate the next day and beat that hangover. You may want to write down how many drinks you’ve had though.

10. Track Your Food (and Alcohol!)

Track Your Food With My Fitness Pal

Keeping track of everything you eat makes it blatant how many calories you’re consuming. There’s just something about seeing it in black and white that makes you more accountable. But you have to track EVERYTHING including any alcoholic drinks, sodas, candies, and other goodies.

11. Bring Leftovers to Work

If you’re afraid you’ll eat all the leftovers yourself, bring them in to work and let your coworkers eat them for you. You’ll save yourself a lot of unwanted calories, and your coworkers will love you!

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