It usually starts around Thanksgiving and continues till the New Year’s Eve. All the nice food, the delicious meals followed by amazing desserts and washed down with more sweetened drinks and alcohol than we normally drink. So, naturally, you’ve gained a few pounds around the holidays. And it’s ok. It happens. However, you don’t really want that weight to stick with you till the next holiday season. Here are five tips for dealing with this problem.
Get rid of leftovers
If you keep the uneaten food from your lavish Christmas dinner in your fridge, you’ll be tempted to go for it sooner or later. The best way to deal with this is to pass the leftovers along to your family or friends who will have more self-control and won’t eat it all themselves. You could even take the extra food to one of the nearby community fridges. Once your fridge is clear of the high-calorie holiday food, fill it with healthy snacks, like fruits or vegetables. That way you won’t be hungry, but you won’t gain any additional weight either.
Adjust your diet
Your holiday meals were full of white bread, fried food and all kinds of cakes and cookies? Well, it’s time to forget about those for a while. Choose grilled chicken breast with a bunch of fresh vegetables instead of deep-fried nuggets and French fries. Opt for fruit or home-made low-calorie frozen yoghurt rather than chocolate or another slice of cake. And don’t drink any more soda pops and simply decide to drink plenty of water instead. Drinking six to eight glasses of water a day will help you hydrate your body and lose weight. Sometimes you only think you’re hungry, but you’re really just thirsty, so you’ll eat less if you drink some water whenever you feel hunger.
Exercise, exercise, exercise!
If you haven’t already started working out, now’s the perfect time. You can hit the gym for some cardio exercises and light weight lifting, or you can join a group class if you prefer Pilates, yoga or Zumba. If you don’t like closed spaces, you can go jogging, cycling or even hiking, plus you can walk instead of taking the bus. However, be careful when combining your workout regime with your diet, especially if you’re building your muscles by lifting heavy weights. In that case, consider healthy protein drinks that will improve muscle development. And don’t give up after a week or two. It takes time to lose weight, but you’ll be creating good habits along the way.
Socialize without food
During the holidays, most of the gatherings happened around a full table. Try to avoid that now by meeting your friends outside, going to cafés for a cup of sugar-free green tea with lemon or simply playing social games. You can even organize a hike, since combining physical activity with good company means more fun for everybody. If not, you can go to a concert, the cinema or see a play at your local theater.
Make short-term resolutions
If you decide to lose a lot of weight over a certain period, you can lose track if the period is too long, or the amount of weight you want to lose is too high. So, instead, plan your diet and workout regime a week at a time. That way, you’ll set lower goals, but you’ll be able to achieve them more easily. You can even decide to make one small change towards a healthier lifestyle each week. For example, one week you start eating only fresh fruit and vegetables after 6 p.m. and the next you start roller-skating for 45 minutes every day.
So, relax. Not everything is ruined by those few extra pounds you’ve gained. You enjoyed your holidays, now you can enjoy feeling fresher, fitter and healthier with every pound you lose. Just be persistent and you’ll be back to your old self in no time.