The winter holidays are probably the most beautiful time of the year. To the joy of giving and receiving gifts, is added the joy of enjoying seasonal foods that, for the most part, are extremely high in calories.
And since there are no winter holidays without cakes, sarmale, and smoked meats, you must find the best solution to satisfy your cravings, but without endangering your figure.
If you are a person concerned with improving your body appearance or if you are a person with a purpose in fitness, the winter holidays Christmas and New Year can be somewhat “nightmare” when it comes to keeping your diet at a healthy and normal level and it is very difficult not to overdo it.
The entourage, the socialization, the emotions can make you not notice very well when you exceed the food limit and you overeat, which you later regret or feel in the form of bloating, overflowing states, and of course weight gain, not to mention mental state and feeling of self-blame.
I must remember that not only excess food can upset us during this holiday season, but also the lack of sports, lack of sleep, irregular meal schedule, excess alcohol, lack of proper hydration, etc.
I will give you 13 guaranteed tips related to food, drinks, and fitness that will help you avoid gaining weight during the holidays and even lose a few pounds by the New Year.
1. Look at the whole table. Taste a little of each, but don’t overdo it.
For most of us, it is impossible not to taste any of the traditional holiday dishes unless they have adopted a different lifestyle. The secret of success in order not to gain weight: MODERATION!
Before putting something on the plate, try to take a short walk around the table or buffet to analyze all the options. Try to make certain classifications in your mind such as “must try” (yes, even desserts) or “survive without”.
Start with a small portion, like a few mouthfuls, of each of the goodies on the list of the top 5 “must try” and a dessert that you want to taste.
2. Eat slowly, consciously
Eating should be slow and conscious. Although the rule is generally valid in everyday life, it should be applied rigorously during the holidays if you do not want to gain weight.
This is a practice that you should include no matter what meal you eat. I realize how hard it is because I also don’t have patience sometimes, especially when I like a dish, I wake up eating too fast and enjoying far too little.
You have to enjoy every meal and don’t forget that the information according to which you are filled is transmitted to the brain only after 15 minutes.
After you take a bite you can put the fork down and start … chewing intensely, about 35-40 chews.
3. Respect the main meals
Why do I say respect the main meals?
Because on holidays, we have a habit of eating more chaotically than in the rest of the year, we eat snacks over snacks, cakes, candies, etc.
All these snacks (usually unhealthy) cut us off our appetite and that’s why we turn our food schedule upside down, eat very little at main meals, and have snacks throughout the day.
4. Avoid eating too many sweets
Sweets are the order of the day for the holidays, but it is good to consume them in moderation. Not only do they have a lot of calories, but they make us stop eating.
Once you have bitten a piece of cake, you will want to swallow it all.
Don’t be too strict with yourself, be a normal person, and allow yourself to eat the holiday goodies, but after they pass, return to a healthy lifestyle and everything will be fine.
Related article: Sugar: 3 side effects and 6 tips on how to stop the cravings
5. Avoid club-sodas as much as you can
Club-sodas contain a lot of sugar and other substances harmful to the weight loss program, try to drink lemonade, a 100% fruit juice.
It is normal not to miss the juices from the house, especially during the holidays, because guests come and you have to have something to serve them, but it would be advisable not to drink them.
6. Eat lots of vegetables to avoid the weight gain
The idea is that before the caloric “plague” 😊)) that will follow, fill your stomach with large foods in the volume that will saturate you, to make you feel full but at the same time not to have calories.
Vegetables are high in fiber, low in calories, and full. A large portion of vegetable salad eaten before is the perfect solution.
If you don’t have vegetables, you can also use fruits. The poorest in sugar are grapefruit, nectarines, peaches, kiwi, oranges, pears, apples.
Even if they have some calories, it’s still better to fill your stomach with them than with things that have a high caloric density, such as pork steak, sausages, or sweets.
7. Learn to cook easier recipes with lower calorie content.
Any traditional dish has its more dietary version.
Check out these amazing 200 Gluten-Free Recipes to Help You Lose Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health
8. Say STOP when you’re filled.
The temptation is great, the dishes are many. If there are goodies you haven’t tasted, leave them for the next meals. The goodies don’t go anywhere.
You can “distribute” the delicacies in a balanced way to all three meals, so as not to hinder your digestion. Don’t let others tell you what and how much to eat. Even if those around you served themselves with another portion, you are not obliged to do the same.
9. Transform sports into a holiday priority if you want to avoid the weight gain
Although a healthy lifestyle is implicitly understood as sports, during the holidays more and more people forget about it. An active lifestyle is all year round, not just to make up for what you ate for the holidays.
It is good not to forget, especially during the holidays, that sport will be extremely important. Food is only part of the equation that will determine if you gain weight, maintain, or lose weight during the holidays. Sport is just as important, maybe even more important.
Do not neglect the workouts because they will allow you to eat another slice of cake and will speed up your metabolism so as not to bear the harmful consequences of some normally forbidden culinary pleasures.
I even claim to do more sports during the holidays to counteract the effects of overeating and weight gain. Remember: burn them to allow them!
Make exercise a pleasant activity and use your days off for walks or even winter sports.
Check out these home workouts which I have prepared for you to avoid gaining weight on holidays:
- The ultimate full-body fat-burning cardio workout – 3 circuits
- Best quarantine full-body 20 minutes workout for a truly fit body – 2 circuits
- 2020 full-body 8 weeks summer shredding challenge schedule
- Burn Fat Fast: Full-Body Fat-Blasting Under 20-Minute Tabata Workout – Episode 10
- 15 minutes belly fat burn h.i.i.t home workout for beginners
10. Be careful with alcohol on holidays
Calories from liquids can multiply without you realizing it, so keep your alcohol, cocktails, and caloric drinks in general under control.
An innocent glass of wine or beer may seem to have nothing to affect your figure, but do not delude yourself, because alcohol contains a lot of calories.
And the next glass of wine can bring you unbearable weight gain.
11. Hydrate properly
Try some low-calorie fruit juice or a low-calorie beer instead.
And nothing will be better than water – it cools you down, has no calories, and will remove the flavors of the food you just ate.
You can drink some mineral water with a little cranberry juice and a slice of lemon.
12. Take advantage of your days off and rest.
The holiday season is perfect to recharge your batteries and start the year with energy, so don’t forget to rest.
If you are tired, you will tend to eat more. The holidays are an excellent time to recharge your batteries, to start the new year with more energy.
13. Focus on your fitness goals
Before you put some cakes or baked potatoes on the plate and give up the gym training, remember what your fitness goals are.
Yes, it will be a challenge to “survive” intact 😊))) and in good shape for the holidays, but the stakes are far too high to give it up in favor of culinary pleasures.
Remember that you have control over the food you eat, and not the food controls you!
Even if it’s a holiday, that doesn’t mean you have to “break” the fridge every hour 😊)) try to eat exactly as you usually do and don’t spoil your healthy habits.
Make a schedule before each holiday, try not to eat chaotically and respect the main meals as much as you can, and not to eat snacks very often.
Don’t forget to exercise daily! Whether you choose long walks, running outside in the cold weather, going to the gym for an hour, or doing a few sets of exercises at home, this will help you a lot not to put on extra pounds during this period.
Don’t forget to not overdo it with alcohol, to hydrate properly, and to rest.
I don’t claim that you must suffer and regret that you did not enjoy the holidays from a gastronomic point of view, but if you do not want to regret and want to fit into your favorite clothes even after the holidays, then follow these 13 tips as much as possible so that to be able to enjoy some carefree holidays.
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