How to not gain weight during holidays
Holidays are coming. For some it’s indeed “the most wonderful time of the year”, but there are people who actually await them in horror, thinking about how their lack of willpower will make them gain pounds in no time. But have no fear – there are proven methods to keep yourself well in hand and prevent you from doing things you will regret later. Here are some of them:
Stand on the scale twice a week
It’s a simple way but sometimes it’s more than enough to ensure you stay on course. Thinking about gaining weight and actually seeing it in progress are way 2 different experiences. To get more accurate results weigh yourself first thing in the morning when your stomach is empty.
Start your day with a workout
Surprisingly, exercising in the morning can make you behave better in the rest of the day. Using brain scans, researchers found that when women worked out in the morning, they not only moved more the rest of the day, but they also responded less to pictures of tempting food compared with the days they didn’t do a morning workout.
Be picky with your food
It’s easy to lose your head when everything on the table looks exceptionally delicious, but if you just take your time to think about it – there’s not so many dishes that you really want THAT bad. Imagine that your stomach is a pretty humble and already crowded warehouse, where you have limited space for the new shipment from the table – what would you chose? Most likely you would start to be really thoughtful about what you put on your plate and what to sacrifice. For example, if you really love your mom’s special carrot pie, why don’t you leave a space for that, instead of cluttering your stomach with meat roll, which you are not a big fan of anyways?
Learn to say no
Willpower is like a muscle: Work it and you get stronger. What’s key is to practice keeping yourself in check in non-food situations, too. Whether you’re driving in rush hour traffic or dealing with a temperamental kid, there are challenges that require self-control.
Succeed in not honking at that rude driver, he explains, and you’ll be better able to resist dessert at the party.
Avoid stacking calories
Cutting back all day so you can indulge at an event that night only sets you up for a pig-out.
Why? You’re freaking starving! It’s easy to get out of control when you’re faced with high-calorie choice. Be sure to eat your three squares and a couple of snacks. Aim for lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean protein.
Intensify your workouts
So what if you can’t get to your favorite yoga class or find time for the treadmill? Even just 15 minutes can help you maintain your fitness level. For example, jumping rope for 15 minutes torches about 190 calories; a quick yoga sequence at home can help you stay flexible.
Don’t say no to desserts
It wouldn’t be wise in the long-term perspective to swear off any kind of dessert completely. Basically because there is a higher chance you’re going to break eventually by doing that. The wisest decision would be to practice the 3-bite rule – get the amazing taste with first bite, indulge your receptors with second and secure that pleasure with third. Then leave it on the plate. Oh, and try to chose healthier deserts with less sugar and flour in them.
Avoid morning-after food
Have the night of your life, then send guests home with food-filled Tupperware. It’s the leftovers that do you in.
Repeat after us: Out of sight, out of mind…
Muster up some willpower
Under the spell of that peppermint bark you co-worker brought to the office? Before you succumb, try this simple trick: Place the thumb and fingers of one hand on your forehand, a half inch apart.
Tap each finger one at a time, once per second, telling yourself, “Hold on.” Wait 15-20 minutes (return phone calls, check email), and the craving will disappear, according to Tufts University Research. Sounds crazy, but it works.
Cut back on diet soda
In fact, any bubbly beverage can lead to belly bloat. The carbon dioxide trapped in the bubbles of fizzy drinks causes a buildup of air, which can lead to gas. You don’t want that, right?
We know: When your to-do list is never-ending, it’s hard to make yourself downshift, even at mealtime. But eating fast is a quick recipe for an expanded waistline.
Here’s why: the more air you swallow, the more bloated you’ll get.
Get a lot of potassium
The nutrient counterbalances sodium, so you retain less water. Our favorite potassium possibilities: bananas, papayas, kiwis, strawberries, and cantaloupe.
Or serve up some asparagus or dandelion greens to get the bonus of a natural diuretic.