How to Keep a Slim Body Before the HolidaysPosted on November 24, 2020
The holidays are coming, with the promise of good food and good times. But we know from experience that holiday temptations can lead to weight gain. Here are some ways to keep yourself slim before the holidays so that you can look good and can enjoy yourself when they arrive.
Eat a Mix of Healthy Foods
Focus on healthy eating now. Get in the habit of eating plenty of vegetables — at least five servings — every day, balanced with lean proteins, modest portions of whole grains, and fresh fruit. Steer clear of highly processed foods, refined carbohydrates like white bread, and foods with added sugar. Better yet, keep those fat-building foods out of your kitchen and out of sight. Instead, keep chopped vegetables on hand for healthy snacking.
Watch Your Portion Sizes
Serve yourself smaller portions. You might use a smaller plate so it looks like you’re getting more. Eat slowly, paying attention to when your hunger is satisfied. Savor your food and stop before you feel stuffed. If there’s anything left over, save it for another meal. Don’t have seconds just because the food is there.
Pay Attention to When You Eat
Start your day with some protein for breakfast. That will keep your hunger at bay through the morning and cut down on the urge to snack before lunch. Eat lightly at the end of the day, when you’re more likely to convert calories to fat. Some people swear by the rule of avoiding carbohydrates after 4 pm. That change in eating habits can reduce your calorie intake by pushing you to eat more vegetables and lean protein.
Drink More Water
Healthy hydration helps your body process the energy and nutrients in food and flush waste from your system. It’s also good for your skin. Keep a water bottle with you as a reminder to hydrate throughout the day. Strategic timing can help, too: two glasses of water before a meal can reduce the urge to overeat.
It can be harder to find time for exercise with shorter days, and the pandemic has limited access to some gyms, but there are always ways to fit in more physical activity. Step up your activity as the holidays approach. A mix of aerobic and resistance workouts will burn calories, build muscle, speed up your metabolism, reduce stress, and brighten your mood. Try walking, running, or biking with family or friends to make it more fun. Or listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks to keep your mind engaged.
The regular feedback of weighing yourself can be a great motivator to stay slim. Weigh yourself at least a couple of times a week, preferably daily. A higher reading works as an immediate alert to watch your eating and step up your exercise to stay on track.
Stress is one of the biggest drivers of unhealthy eating and weight gain. When you’re under stress, you’re more likely to revert to bad habits and succumb to snacking temptations. When you feel your anxiety rising, try deep breathing, yoga, meditation, calming music, or a quick walk outside — whatever works for you — to get back to a healthy state of calm.
Lack of sleep is another big factor in weight gain. Sleep deprivation can make your hungrier, fog your thinking, reduce your motivation for exercise, and lead you to make impulsive eating decisions. Make healthy sleep habits a priority in your daily routine. Wind down before bedtime with no TV or electronic devices, and stick to a regular bedtime and waking schedule.
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