The days are getting shorter and Christmas music is already filling the air — there can be no doubt that the Holidays are right around the corner.
And, of course, the closer we get to the Holidays, the harder it is to stick to our fitness and weight loss goals.
I have one friend who refers to this as the “cookie season.” Where he can’t go anywhere between Thanksgiving and New Year’s without being tempted by cookies, cake, calorie-laden hot beverages, or some other sweet treat!
But it does not have to be that way. As the Big Day approaches, here are 10 weight loss tips to be thankful for, before, during and after the turkey and football!
Start every day with a good breakfast
Eat a nutritious breakfast within the first hour getting up. A healthy breakfast should include foliate, iron, fiber and vitamins. If that sounds like a commercial for oatmeal, it sort of is.
Low-fat, high-vitamin and mineral rich dry cereals such as Total, or Special K, are also good starts, as are foods such as low–fat yogurt, and whole grain, low-fat waffles. Also be sure to include fruit such as berries for phytochemicals and antioxidants. Orange juice is a great source of folic acid.
You have heard this before, but now, especially to avoid the holiday temptations, drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily. It will not only help you to feel fuller throughout the day, it will help you to cleanse and detoxify, and avoid the complications of chronic dehydration – which could put a crimp on your holiday style.
Keep a food journal
It’s easy to lose sight of weight loss goals and your diet during the holidays – if you keep a food journal, you will be much more conscious of your eating patterns and when you have had enough.
Things get so stressful and busy around the holiday it gets harder to find time for exercise — but now is no time to slow down. If you do not have time for your usual workout at the gym, get up 15 minutes earlier every day to take a jog, bike ride, or take a brisk walk.
Do the same after dinner. When shopping, don’t stress yourself out trying to find a parking spot close to the stores, park far away. It’s easier to find a spot, and you can use the walk!
Don’t go it alone
Find a weight loss buddy. The extra support during more stressful Holiday times, and temptations can help keep you on track.
When the Partying Begins
Avoid running on empty
One of the best ways to keep from over-indulging at holiday parties or dinners is NOT to arrive hungry!
Don’t just hover around the food table. Distract yourself with other things at the party, talk, dance — you can be “merry” by doing other things besides eating and drinking!
Cut down on the holiday cheer
Alcohol is kind of a double “no-no.” Consuming alcohol is just extra calories with little or no nutrition, and when you are a little tipsy, it’s that much harder to avoid the chips and dips – so imbibing a bit less, is a good strategy. If you must drink avoid creamy “Egg-Nog” type drinks, or very sweet cocktails – stick with one glass of red or white wine.
Pass on the passed hors-d’oeuvres
I admit I am a sucker for those “pigs in blankets” but those little canapés can add up to a lot of calories. If you can’t resist them entirely, and who can, a good way is to set a limit – and each time you take one, put the toothpick in your pocket to let you know how many you have had.
Take a walk
Make an after-dinner-walk part of your holiday tradition. It not only helps to “walk off” the calories, but it also gets you out of the house and away from the food and drinks for a while!