Do you ever feel as though, no matter what time of year it is, there’s or some holiday celebration that involves junk food? If you do, you’re not alone. There are food-based holidays in eight out of the twelve months!
You might think that leaves you with four months of solid, clean eating. Think again.
Consider the weddings, birthday parties, retirement parties, and the myriad other junk-food fests we attend throughout the year, those remaining four months aren’t junk food-free either.
With that in mind, it’s no wonder 1/3 of the population is obese! Our society is obsessed with sugar and other empty calories, to the point where all our holidays and celebrations revolve around food.
That’s why I’ve decided to put together this list of seven tips and strategies for avoiding weight gain over the holidays, or, you know, pretty much all year.
I can’t stress enough, the importance of water. It’s at the top of the list for a reason. Water is essential to life, and most Americans don’t get enough of it. Between the soda, the caffeine, and the copious amounts of sodium and sugar our society puts away every day, water is the last thing most people think about.
Okay Cristy, we get it; you need water to live. Yes, and you need water to lose* weight too. When people are thirsty, their brain sends a message, saying, “I’m hungry.”
So, drink a gallon of water every day, no matter what. Whether there’s a holiday or some other kind of food-party coming up, you’ll body will have what it needs, and you won’t be hungry around the junk food.
2. Hit the Sack
The next thing to do is sleep. Along with water, sleep is vital to your well being, and just like water, nobody gets enough of it. How much is that, you might ask?
Seven and a half hours, minimum. Some people might need more, but everyone should get at least seven and a half hours. You might think you work well on less sleep. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you’re supposed to.
Besides, if you’re trying to lose* weight, you’ll reach a point where the pounds just won’t drop if you’re not getting enough sleep.
The stress that sleep deprivation puts on you causes your body to store as much fat as possible. It’s how we’re designed. If your body thinks the lean times are coming, or that you’re in mortal danger of being eaten by a bear, then you can kiss weight loss* goodbye.
So, regardless of the time of year, make consistent sleep a top priority.
3. The Scale is Your Friend
If you’re trying to lose* weight, you have to get on that scale every single day. Some people dread the scale, and I don’t know why. The scale is your early alarm system for weight gain!
How are you supposed to know whether you need to change what you’re doing, if you aren’t measuring your progress?
Even if you’re just maintaining your weight, how are you going to see your success if you don’t weigh yourself consistently? That’s why I tell my clients to weigh themselves every single day.
The scale isn’t scary if you make it a routine. And, if you do it every day, holidays and parties are less likely to throw you off. You’ll go into every situation knowing exactly where you stand.
4. Make Healthy Eating Routine
Take rules 1-3 and do them every day. In addition to avoiding sugar and other simple carbs, this will set you up for life-long success.
Be honest with yourself; you’re not going to shutter yourself away from all the events and parties you’re going to get invited to because of the junk food.
You can attend that retirement party on Saturday without worry if you have been eating wholesome food all week.
The fact is if you are eating a healthy, nutritious diet 90 % of the time, then you can afford to eat party food on occasion. If you know you have a party coming up at the end of the month, eat clean all month and then indulge a little bit at the party.
One off-plan meal isn’t going to undo a whole month of healthy nutrition.
5. Bring What You Eat
Nobody said you can’t share your healthy lifestyle at the party. Why not share? Whether it’s a holiday party or a summer barbeque, bring something you know you can eat.
Things like nuts, crudités, grilled chicken wings, and salad are all easy to prepare and make healthy additions to most gatherings. You’ll be appreciated for your contribution, and party at ease knowing there’s something for you to enjoy that won’t leave you feeling bloated and sick.
6. Celebrate with Like-Minded People
It’s not so much “You are what you eat,” as it is “You are who you hang out with.”
Think about it. If your routine is meeting the girls for lattes and croissants, or drinking with the guys, then you have built empty carbs into your life and friendships.
On the other hand, if you make friends with people who like to cycle, or lift weights, then you will likely end up exercising regularly.
I’m not suggesting you dump your friends because they eat junk food, but it can’t hurt to make some new friends with non-food-related interests.
7. Re-Focus the Focus
Whatever you’re celebrating, it isn’t actually the food, even though the food is the main show at every party. Why not mix things up, and take the focus off the food.
Things like dancing, slideshows, movies, and games are all fun ways to bring the people together without stuffing sugar in their faces.
In short, preventing weight gain is not complicated. Drink plenty of water, get consistent sleep, and get on that scale every day. It doesn’t matter where you are, or what time of the year it is.
You can do it.
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