If there’s one thing that’s all but guaranteed, it’s Christmas weight gain! Between the heavy Christmas dinner (so soon after Thanksgiving), all the sweets and treats, the hot chocolate and mulled wine, and all the alcohol you end up drinking during the holidays, you can’t help but pack on the pounds. Well, that’s not quite true. There are a few things you can do to avoid putting on excess weight, but you have to be smart about it. Here’s how to avoid the Christmas weight gain:
Restrict Yourself to Single Days
Christmas is just one day in a year, as is the New Year. Don’t treat yourself every day of the holiday season, but restrict your excesses to just ONE day. Keep up with your diet the rest of the holiday season, and there will be far less weight gain when you hit the gym in January.
Have a Holiday Food Plan
If there’s one thing guaranteed to make weight gain inevitable, it’s eating whatever and whenever. Instead, plan your meals down to the last bite of dessert. Know exactly what you’ll eat all holiday season long, including during your days off. The only day you can go all out is during Christmas dinner, but not the days before or after. Stick with your food plan and you’ll avoid most of the weight gain.
Don’t Skimp on the Exercise
We all tend to get a bit lazy around the holidays, but don’t make that mistake! Though it’s okay to cut back on your workouts a little on your days off, don’t avoid them completely. If you’re not into hitting the gym, do something to stay active: go hiking, hit the ski slopes, or cycle around town. Whatever you do, don’t avoid the gym just because “it’s vacations”. Stick with your workout program, or you’ll end up paying for it in January.
Stick with the “Must Eats”
Everyone has that dessert or two they simply can’t live without at the holidays. Perhaps it’s the candied yams, your mother’s famous Apple pie, or those chocolates your wife knows you love. It’s okay to cheat a little bit with the sweets, but stick with only the “MUST HAVES”. Make a list of one or two things you are okay allowing yourself to eat, and avoid anything that’s not on the list. It’s a little cheating, but done right it can be the more effective option for dieting.
Make it a Fit-Mas
Why not ask for fitness gifts for Christmas? They’re sure to motivate you to keep working out and hitting the gym even during the holidays. Instead of getting toys, get fitness gifts to help you stay on top of your physical condition. The efforts will definitely pay off in the long run!
Fill Up Beforehand
If you want to avoid overeating at the Christmas dinner, fill up before you head out. Have a healthy snack of protein, veggies, and high-fiber grains. Make sure to keep it limited to no more than 500 calories, but get enough food that you’re not hungry. You’ll be far less tempted to snack or cheat on your diet if you’re already full.
Be the Cook
Instead of wandering around the dinner table eyeing the goodies, why not chain yourself to the kitchen stove and prepare the dinner? You’re far less likely to cheat on your diet if you’re too busy cooking. Plus, it’s a well-known fact that cooking helps to reduce your hunger, ensuring you’ll eat less when dinner is finally served.