The average person gains one, maybe two pounds of weight during the holiday season. While this may not seem like much, statistics show that any weight gained typically remains permanent. After a decade, these numbers could mean an extra twenty pounds tacked on! Weight gain correlates with the development of health conditions like arthritis and heart disease, so being aware of your indulgences this holiday season should be a top priority.
According to research, weight gain during this time of year isn’t the result of overeating during a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, rather, it results from the mindset of indulgence that many people adopt during the entire holiday season. Our bodies are pretty resilient in terms of what we can throw at them during short time spans, but the longer a bad habit exists, the less our bodies are able to react efficiently.
What most people find difficult to understand is that weight management and healthy choices are a lifestyle, not a temporary solution. Developing a mindset of healthy eating and exercise now, will allow you to subconsciously stave off weight gain throughout the year. A few guidelines can help get you started on keeping that waistline slim now, and through the New Year.
We should all be able to indulge in those mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie, but knowing when to stop is the trick. Holiday foods are typically calorie-dense, so keeping portions to a minimum is a must. One trick is to use a smaller plate, as the optical illusion tricks the mind into thinking you have more food than you would if your plate was larger. Personally, no matter what size plate I use, there won’t be much free space on it when I sit down to eat, so better play it safe and keep it small.
We all know that exercise burns calories and boosts metabolism. While it may be difficult to exercise during the holidays because of time limitations, it is just as important now, if not more so, as it is during the rest of the year. Getting your exercise in early helps, as most holiday events and gatherings take place during the afternoon through the night.
Eat This, Not That
Plan each meal around a lean protein source, such as white meat turkey or chicken. Protein is more satiating than carbs, and has fewer calories than fat, so it is a good place to start. If you are cooking, use healthy oils in place of fats, and utilize sugar substitutes. This page has a few good substitution tips for cooking during the holiday season.
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