Santa Clause and turkey are symbols for the holiday season, but the body shape of these holiday celebrities is probably not what you are going for. Back-to-back football games, long car drives, airplanes and amazing gravy are all excuses for looking like a butterball come January. I will try to give some simple tricks for you to keep you shape over the holidays.
1. Start the day in the gym. When you know you are hitting the road to go to a Christmas party, and you know there will be a high consumption of food and drinks, the best thing to do is to get a workout in before you leave. Getting your heartbeat up will boost your metabolism, and will result in burning more calories. Also, if you get in a workout in the gym, your body and muscles will be screaming for proteins and carbs, and therefore the consumption of the Christmas food will have a positive effect on your shape.
2. Drink LOTS of water. Water has many positive effects on your body; it keeps your body hydrated, which is key to stay healthy. Some people confuse dehydration with hunger. Drinking a glass of water before you sit down at the table will help you eat more moderately. Water also helps you burn fat more efficiently, so the after-burn effect after your morning workout will be better if you stay hydrated throughout the day.
3. Eat breakfast. An important point during the holidays is to stay on your healthy regular diet. Don’t starve either before or after the holiday meals. It is not beneficial for you to skip breakfast before you leave for the party, as it will increase your chances of overeating and gaining weight. Studies actually show that those who skip breakfast have a 450 percent larger chance of getting obese or overweight.
4. Choose smaller plates. When arriving at the party, if there is a buffet, a small trick can be to choose the smaller plates. If you do, it will take less food to fill it up, and the brain will be tricked to believe you have been eating more food than you actually have. This will help, as it takes the brain 20 minutes to register that you are full, and it’s key to not eat much more after you are full, as it will go straight to your belly. Another rule could be to only taste one bite of things you like, and eat more of things you love.
5. Stay away from alcohol. If you can, try to avoid drinking alcohol as much as possible. All types of alcohol contain a high number of carbs, but more importantly, it will dehydrate your body. If you decide to drink alcohol, drink one glass of water for every glass of wine, to keep your body hydrated.
6. Enjoy the parties, but get back on track fast. For most of us who are not on a strict diet, the good food is a big part of the holidays and therefore we like to enjoy all the food and cakes we are presented with. This can be ok, as long as you eat healthy meals when you are not at a party. Stick with your healthy diet as soon as you are not in a social setting, and it’s important for you to get back to your normal schedule as fast as possible after the holidays, so we don’t have an incident where we extend the consumption of soda, alcohol and cookies over a longer period than necessary.
7. Get back on
For most of us, diets, calories, and workouts are not something we are concerned with during the holidays. We want to enjoy the time with the family and good food, and if that is the case, I urge you to do it without giving the above tips a thought. Still, if you are looking for some small guidelines on how to avoid playing catch-up in the gym in January and February, some of these tips could be helpful. The key is, once again, to stick to your regular diet as much as you can, squeeze in workouts in the mornings before the festivities and stay hydrated at all times. A part of the holidays is to enjoy all the food your family is making, and you should do so, but try to be moderate.