Motivational Weight Loss Tips for the Holidays
Eating healthy over the holidays may be easier said than done, but it is possible if you can commit before holiday parties roll around. Mind over matter is important when trying to lose weight during the feasting and holiday season. Think about the holiday food you’ll be eating or making and consider how you could make healthier choices.
Here are some tips to get you through the holidays without gaining any extra pounds:
Try Wearing Fitted Clothing
If you want to be conscious of how much food goes into your body, try wearing form-fitting clothes to the party instead. You’ll feel your stomach expanding more if your clothes are fitted instead of loose. This decision could help you make the healthy choice to eat less food or snack endlessly, and also avoid the desire to binge. Most people put on weight because they binge eat without thinking or because they’re bored, in particular when alcohol is involved.
Drink More Water
Water will keep you hydrated throughout these busy days and long office parties, plus it will keep you full when you feel like snacking. Try to keep water nearby at all times so you can have the visual reminder of drinking it more. Water also boosts your caloric burn, which happens when you put food or drink in your body and your body has to work to process it. Basically, it works the same way for anything with calories — even though water has no calories, your body will still work to “burn” it.
Find a Fitness Buddy
During the holidays you’ll likely meet new people or get back together with old friends. Voice your desire to get healthy, and see who wants to join you in the healthier lifestyle. You can recommend fitness apps to each other, keep each other in check, or even workout together if schedules permit.
Try to Choose Alcohol or Dessert — Not Both
Alcoholic drinks, especially cocktails and eggnog, are high in calories and sugar and will also make you dehydrated, which can cause you to overeat because you might feel sluggish or tired. This is an area of holiday food where you might overindulge in calories. Desserts are another culprit of weight gain. The holiday candy, pies, cakes, tarts, and breads are hard to resist, but they also contain a lot of calories.
However, you don’t have to avoid all the tasty things you normally enjoy. It’s important to keep track of what you’re eating, and decide beforehand which foods or drinks you want to indulge in. Choose that slice of cherry cheesecake, or have a cocktail, but try not to have both to save yourself from too many calories.
Make Your Food Look Visually Pleasing
Research shows that people eat less when the colors on their plate contrast strongly. Opt for colorful plates instead of traditional white, or make colorful salads and food to encourage smarter eating. The color of your food does have a psychological impact on how you eat, and if it’s more colorful, your brain might be tricked into thinking it’s eating more.
Prepare Healthier Party Food
If you are the one hosting the holiday party, boost your weight loss efforts by planning healthy, low-cal substitutes. For example: Select healthier red wine over sugary cocktails, or go for a skinless turkey roast over fatty chicken skin. You might also consider pumpkin pie instead of pecan pie — with optional whipped cream on the side. Or even fruit, like baked apples with nuts and honey. Less sugar and less calories mean you’ll be on a better track for your weight loss goals.
One thing to also be aware of during the holidays is that deaths due to heart attacks strongly increase. And it’s not just from stress, but diet and physical exertion play a big role too. It’s not an appealing holiday topic, but it’s important to be aware of it. Try to take care of yourself if you know you are genetically predisposed to heart attacks or heart disease.
When you make better choices, you can have a happier, healthier holiday this year.