This is the time of year for holiday weight gain. While you might think it’s inevitable, it’s not. Holiday weight gain doesn’t have to occur when you plan ahead and learn how to eat right, while also participating in a program of exercise on a regular basis. Learning how to eat healthier isn’t dieting. That’s because diets don’t work. It means making smarter choices when it comes to food. You don’t have to eat special foods, but you may have to make substitutions.
Substitutions don’t have to mean you’ll give up everything you love.
Rather than dieting, you may substitute one food for another. It might be something simple such as eating brown rice or wild rice instead of white rice or something a bit more complicated, like substituting applesauce for some of the oil or sugar in baked goods. You’ll barely notice the difference and while the calorie savings may be small, they all add up to limit weight gain and aid in weight loss.
Keeping active and exercising over the holiday season also helps keep those pounds at bay.
Exercise burns calories, so it’s no wonder it’s a good addition to any weight loss program. It does something more, which helps you lose weight or prevent weight gain. That something else is to build muscle tissue. Muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does. You’ll be burning more calories around the clock. Effectively, it’s raising your metabolism.
You’ll burn off the hormones created by stress.
Stress is dangerous to your health, both mental health and physical health. One of the hormones created by stress is cortisol, often linked to abdominal fat. If you’ve ever had a particularly stressful day, you often find yourself eating foods (often crunchy ones) to bring relief from that stress. That can mean extra weight gain. While the holidays are filled with wonderful events, good friends and time with family, it’s also filled with stress. When you workout, you’ll burn off those hormones from stress and replace them with ones that make you feel good. It does a better job of stress relief than alcohol and doesn’t have any side effects.
Keep some ammunition against weight gain always available. Make healthy snacks ahead and have them in your refrigerator, at work or even in your car. Eat these between meals so you won’t be ravenous and eat high calorie snacks or overload at the dinner table.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up all the foods you love. It means you just eat less of them if they’re high in calories and low in nutrition.
Working out can help you sleep better at night. When you don’t get enough sleep or enough quality sleep, you may find yourself reaching for sweets to boost your energy.
Eating slower can help prevent gaining weight, just as drinking water frequently. Slower eating allows time for the message of satiation to trigger and bring a feeling of fullness and water adds to that feeling of fullness without adding calories.