28 Science-Backed Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight and Fat Gains While Enjoying Yourself

Ok its almost that time of year, family and friends are around, there will be a lot of food and drink available. There nothing wrong with enjoy the festivities but i’m here to make sure you don’t end up looking like Santa by the end of them. Below is a list of tips that can help you during the this time.  

Tips for Eating and Drinking

 

1. Try Eating before drinking and celebrating.

Skipping breakfast or lunch in order to “save your appetite” probably isn’t the best weight-maintenance tactic since not eating until the afternoon may lead to binge eating later on So stick to a reasonably sized breakfast with plenty of protein, complex carbs and some healthy fats which will keep you fuller longer and temper the urge to binge your face later.

2. Keep your protein in the meal.

Like we just mentioned, protein can help maintain a healthy weight because high-protein diets are associated with greater satiety and important for healthy muscle growth. Make sure to serve up some turkey, roasted chicken, or if you’re a veggie some prepare animal-free alternatives like quinoa, lentils, or beans.

3. Bring your own snacks and treats.

Rather than spending all the day trying to figure out what’s in every dish at a party or avoid eating altogether, bring a healthy side dish or dessert (this is where having some protein bars on you can come in handy). So have a nibble what you want, but know you have a healthy alternative to fall back on.

4. Eat, chew slowly and really enjoy your food.

Eating slowly may not be easy when appetiser options are endless, but it pays off to pace yourself. The quicker we eat, the less time the body has to register fullness. So slow down and take a second to savor each bite and enjoy the food and company.

5. Serve meals restaurant-style.

When you sit down for the main event, leave food out of sight rather than on display a basket full of treats, snacks, and an entire turkey directly on the table. When you’ve cleaned your plate, take a breather, and then decide if you really want seconds. Changing up the environment—in this case, by leaving food near the stove—can help reduce overall food intake.

6. Fill up on fibre.

Snacking on vegetables like cucumber and celery with other high-fibre items like legumes can help keep us fuller, longer. Also the body responses to calories different when there is fibre present and will release energy much slower help prevent blood insulin spikes.

7. Use smaller plates.

Plate sizes have expanded significantly over the years. Whenever possible, choose the smaller salad plate (8-10 inches) instead of a tray-like one (12 inches or more). Using smaller plates can actually make us feel fuller with less food. The brain associates a big white space on the plate with less food (and smaller plates generally require smaller portions).

8. Make room for (healthy) fats.

Cutting butter and oil can slash calories , but not all fats are bad fats. We need fat in our diets to provide energy and help body functions as well as absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, plus fat helps us feel full.

9. Avoid simple carbs such as sugar.

Holiday cookies, cakes, white bread and pies are nothing short of tempting, but all that simple carbs will may increase your blood sugar then your insulin causing your body to store it as fat. Try your best to stick to complex carbs that comes in its natural form (fruits, veggies, and whole grains) and try enjoying small nibbles of the desserts you’re truly craving rather than loading up a full plate of bland cookies.

10. Just say no.

Though your relatives may encourage overeating by shoving seconds onto a cleaned plate, it’s OK to respectfully decline. “I’m full” or “I’m taking a break” should be enough for friends and family members to back off (and give you time to decide if you’d really like more).

11. Wait before grabbing seconds.

Like we’ve said earlier, the quicker we eat a meal, the less time we give our bodies to register fullness. Since it takes about 20 minutes for the brain to get the message that dinner’s been served, it’s best to go for a walk or chat with friends before dishing up seconds.

12. Invest in some toss-away Tupperware.

Before guests leave you with half-full platters of food, have some Tupperware at the ready. Load up containers for friends and family to hand out as they leave. Bonus points for getting containers that are holiday-themed or for adding a festive bow to your parting gift.

13. Freeze it for later.

If you end up with loads of leftovers on your kitchen counter, pack up the extras and store them in the freezer for a later date. Studies show that when food is out of sight, you’ll be less likely to reach for a second helping.

14. Chew gum to stop you over eating.

Studies have conflicting results on whether chewing gum will actually help curb your appetite and lead to weight loss in the long run. However, in the short-term, chewing can keep you busy when socializing or when you’re full but still eyeing a second plate of dessert.

15. Turn your back on temptation.

The closer we are situated to food that’s in our line of vision, the more we’ll actually consume. A simple fix? Face away from the dessert spread to listen to cues from your gut rather than your eyes.

16. Beware of booze.

Not only does alcohol add unnecessary calories to your diet, but getting boozy has another effect on us, too. Drinking too much in the presence of champagne, eggnog, wine, and beer can make us lose our inhibitions around food and start eating irresponsibly. Take it easy with the bubbly before you start saying things like, “Eh, what’s one more cookie?”

17. Cave in to cravings.

Finally, a suggestion we can all get behind. It’s smart to acknowledge a few cravings instead of pushing them away completely. Caving to a craving—as long as it’s in moderation—can curb the desire to go at it like a kid in a candy store. Forbidding a specific food or food group during the holiday season may only make it more attractive. Still want more of that apple pie after a couple of bites? Try thinking of your favourite holiday activity, like opening presents, watching Christmas movies, or playing in the snow. Research shows that daydreaming about pleasant activities or distracting yourself with just about any activity can reduce the intensity of food cravings.

18. Choose smaller drinking cups.

When you’ve got a hankering for some seasonal eggnog, reach for a tall, thin glass, not a short squatty one. Research shows people pour less liquid into tall glasses than into their vertically challenged counterparts. With a taller glass, you’re likely to down less in one sitting (which is especially helpful when drinking booze).

19. Drink Plenty of water!!

Drinking water helps people feel full, and as a result consume fewer calories. Rather than guzzling calorie- and sugar-laden sodas and juices (which are associated with increased body fat and blood pressure) treat yourself to a glass of wine with dinner and keep your allegiance to water for the rest of the day.

Tips for Moving and Mindset


OK so we have gone over some eating tips, now let’s go over mindset tips that will also help!

1. Meditate.

Emotional eating to make ourselves feel better when we’re sad or anxious can interfere with weight loss goals. But meditation—using techniques like muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and mindfulness—can help binge eaters become aware of how they turn to food to deal with emotions. This is especially important at parties where there’s a ton of food on display.

2. Set realistic goals.

Come New Year’s resolution season, it’s easy to set lofty goals about weight loss (i.e. drop three dress sizes by February!). Since impractical targets can slow down long-term weight-loss, it’s important to address those goals before making any health and fitness changes. Write down your goals—keep them specific and attainable—and post them somewhere highly visible, like the refrigerator door. If your goal is “stick to two cookies at every holiday party” seeing it periodically may help you commit.

3. Stay positive.

Many of us demonize certain foods and even punish ourselves for indulgences. Instead, positive messages like “I can control my eating” or “I’m proud that I ate responsibly today” can re-frame our relationship with food. Research shows positive expectations are associated with weight loss. Even if it feels a little silly, try telling yourself at least one positive affirmation per day.

4. Try to De-stress.

The holiday season is full of cheer, but it can also be stressful keeping up with family get-togethers and paying for all those gifts. Unfortunately, a lot of stress can trigger increased eating and cravings, especially for sugary carbohydrates. If family time (or being away from family during the holidays) has you feeling overwhelmed, try out one of these ways to reduce stress before downing hot chocolate and cookies.

5. Let go of limitations.

No, we’re not talking about unbuttoning your pants at the dinner table. Before hitting up holiday parties, remember that a good workout isn’t limited to a gym or the track. It’s easy to use your bodyweight—even in small spaces—to work up a sweat.

6. Rest and get plenty of Sleep.

Though there’s likely no stopping the urge to wake up early on Christmas morning, getting enough sleep can help shave off some pounds, since sleep loss is linked to changes in appetite. Getting enough sleep has also been associated with less weight gain. Practice good sleep hygiene, like turning off electronics in the bedroom and avoiding high-fat foods at night.

7. Partner up.

Research suggests we perform better on aerobic tasks like running and cycling when exercising with a partner. If you’re home for the holidays, call up a friend or family member for a gym date or a home workout with our favorite partner exercises, including medicine ball lunge-to-chest passes, and clapping push-ups.

8. Move it to lose it.

A simple phrase for losing weight is to move more and eat less. The secret here—like we said before—is that moving doesn’t just mean hitting the track or going to the gym. Make a conscious decision to get more steps into the day by taking the stairs or parking the car far away from the grocery store entrance. Before curling up around the fire, round up family members for a hike or snowshoeing session.

So what do you guys think? What do you use to help keep you weight in check over the holiday period and did we miss anything? let us know in the comments below and lets have discussion.

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