Have you ever gotten up on January 2nd, looked in the mirror, and thought, “What happened?!? I did not look like this 5 weeks ago!” That’s what I call the holiday lumps, bumps, and humps, and if you’re not careful it can happen to you. Some studies suggest that on average Americans can gain a pound or two a week during the holidays.
This a pound of fat! How do you think 5 to 10 of these would look on you?!? You can avoid this risk however, with these 7 simple rules on how to have your holiday cake and eat it too!
1. Start with what you drink
Cutting out the sugary drinks and drinking mainly water will help you tremendously during the holidays. If you have to sweeten your drink then I suggest that you add Stevia to whatever non-sugary drink you are having. Also, if you will drink a full glass of water about 15 minutes before your meal, you will eat less and will digest your food better.
2. Focus on protein
Fill your plate with protein first, chicken, turkey, fish, or whatever but get a good palm sized helping of that and build your plate around it.
3. Use a smaller plate
You don’t have to eat off a platter during the holidays! Less food on the plate means less food on the belly, and you can always get more if you find that you aren’t full.
4. Eliminate the bread
This one is tough year round and especially tough during the holidays, but is that bland old dinner roll or biscuit really worth it. Forego the bread and have something else at the end of the meal. Also reduce the portion size of other simple carbs such as potatoes and mac and cheese.
5. Take your time
I’m very guilty of this so I’m giving myself advice here, but holiday meals are not a race to see who can get back to the table for seconds the fastest. Give your brain time (about 20 minutes) to get the signal from your gut that it’s full! Eat slower, chew well, and sit and visit with your family for a little while. You will be glad that you did!
6. Enjoy your dessert
One of my favorite things about the holidays are the special sweets we get only once a year. My favorite is date balls, and I’m sure out of all the pies, cakes, and special treats that you have at least one favorite as well. If you do steps one through five then enjoy your dessert completely guilt free, but do eat a smaller size. Not drinking Coke or eating bread, then eating half the pie isn’t what I’m getting at here!
7. Increase your activity level
It’s very easy to sit around watching all the great football games and other sports that are on television during the holidays, but I would encourage you to go take a walk during halftime. If it’s too cold outside do some air squats, leg raises, or push-ups. What exercises you do doesn’t really matter as long as you’re being more active. If you do you’ll burn off way more calories than you think!
If you’ll do these seven things during this holiday season you’ll prevent or at least reduce the size of those unwanted humps, bumps, and lumps!
Healthy Blessings and Happy Holidays,