This is the wonderful time of year to gather with friends and family and to give thanks for the many blessings that we have in our lives and to celebrate our winter Holidays. First and foremost we must be thankful for our health. So many times, we take out health for granted, until something happens to a loved one or ourselves. That may be when we first realize how critical our health is. When we are in poor health, every aspect of our lives becomes more difficult. Please take a moment to consider what you can do to protect your health. More than being thankful for our health, we are also so thankful for our loved ones. With a strong connection to others, we can enjoy a better quality of life. We have so many blessings and although we all have struggles and obstacles as well, staying positive and joyful is the best way to overcome them.
At this time of the year many of us also worry about weight gain, through all the extra calories that we may be eating. So many of our Holiday traditions and gatherings center around food and drinks. Of course we want to enjoy all the festivities with our families and friends. Unfortunately, the average American gains 5 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s! Five pounds of fat equals 17,500 calories. That’s a lot of calories that you have to burn off later, to take that Holiday weight gain off! Instead try to avoid gaining weight altogether. You can do this by adding in some extra exercise and by making better food choices. Here are my top ways to avoid holiday weight gain:
• Stick to your workouts, no matter what! Even if it means getting up earlier in the morning to fit in some extra cardio, get it done. These are busy times, prioritize your workouts just like you would any other important appointment.
• Eat protein: Protein is the best way to stabilize your blood sugar, prevent hunger pangs and avoid fat storage. Protein makes you feel fuller, longer and ensures that you don’t fall into the “hunger pang – I’ll eat anything” trap.
• Limit alcohol: Alcohol contains empty calories and even more importantly slows down fat burning. As I explain in my book; Eat More To Lose More, alcohol must be metabolized by the liver, immediately. While your liver is busy dealing with the alcohol, other metabolic processes are halted. At parties, limit yourself to one drink and sip slowly. Wine is the best choice and contains beneficial anti oxidants. Mixed drinks made with sugary mixers or fruit juices are the worst.
• Plan your food and keep a food diary. If you know you will be having a taste of the holiday dessert, include it in your calorie count, and keep the serving size reasonable. Don’t kid yourself! Instead, plan for the occasional treat by working out a little extra or eating super clean the next day.
• Don’t go to parties hungry. Eat a small, healthy snack at home before going out to avoid over-eating at parties. Never, ever starve yourself all day because you know you will be going to a party that involves food. Instead, make sure to eat light, small meals throughout the day to prevent overeating unhealthy party food later.
• Carry a snack when you run errands or shop. Inevitably you will get hungry while you are out running errands. Getting things done during the Holidays take longer than usual, as traffic gets hectic and malls fill to the brim. Carry a healthy snack with you to avoid having to buy something you don’t want to eat, or worse yet, not eat at all, thereby stimulating fat storage.
Staying in shape and preventing weight gain during the Holidays is possible and you will feel so much better starting the New Year off without excess weight.
For more tips on how to stay fit and healthy, check out my book, Eat More To Lose More, or visit my website www.EatMoreToLoseMore.com.