The holidays are rapidly approaching. For many, the determination to stay on a weight loss program often fades as they get closer. You don’t have to abandon your fitness goals during the holidays, however. Follow these tips to maintain your weight loss goals and emerge in the new year ahead of the pack.
Start Each Day on the Right Foot
Getting up and out of bed with a positive mindset will help you start out on the right foot. Drink a glass of water to rehydrate after your night-long fast. Try to leave some time for morning exercise. If you get through it now, you eliminate the obstacles that can interfere with your plans to hit the gym later on. Find a morning routine that works to get you motivated and primed to face the upcoming day. The Thrive Patch system, for example, is simple and can boost your energy levels throughout the day without an afternoon crash.
Eat Before Heading to Parties
Holiday parties are the stuff dieting nightmares are made of. Trays of cookies, high-fat sides and main dishes served in heaping portions can quickly derail any healthy eating plans you swore to stick with. You don’t have to let the holiday hungries win. Make it a point to eat a light meal or snack of healthy foods before you go to any party. You will be able to enjoy smaller portions of the foods being served while still genuinely claiming you are full partway through the meal.
Make Exercise a Regular Part of Every Day
IN order to lose weight, you must expend more energy than you take in through food. It sounds easy enough, but most adults simply do not get enough exercise each day. The exact amount you need will vary, but, in general, adults should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most days. That can be in a group exercise class or on a brisk walk or hike, or it can be through alternative activities like doing yard work or playing with your kids. Anything that gets your heart rate elevated counts, so experiment with new activities until you find one that you really enjoy.
Keep Stress Levels Under Control
Stress can derail weight loss in several ways. First, it causes hormonal changes within your body that lead can slow your metabolism and interfere with digestion. It also contributes to chronic inflammation, which further disrupts biological processes and is linked to a host of potentially serious health conditions. There are so many great stress reduction techniques you can try. Yoga and Tai Chi incorporate gentle exercise and stretching into the mix to help you get the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity each week. If that isn’t your speed, you might enjoy a guided meditation or progressive relaxation technique. Both can be done just about anywhere and are proven to reduce stress and anxiety.
Practice Mindful Eating
Mindfulness seems to be everywhere these days, and your dinner plate is no exception. While there are countless things demanding your attention during the holidays, taking the time to pay attention to what you are eating will help you stick to weight loss goals. That is because research shows that you are much more likely to overeat when you are distracted. Instead of just mindlessly stuffing food in your mouth, pay attention to what you are doing. Savor the flavors and textures of the food as you eat. It will slow you down, so you are better able to recognize when you start to feel full, and you will end up eating less with more enjoyment.
Allow Yourself an Occasional Splurge
Weight loss goals can be great, but they should not mean deprivation. If your eating habits leave you feeling like you are missing out, you are more likely to cave in and binge on unhealthy foods. Instead, give yourself permission to splurge on small portions of your favorites. You’ll feel more satisfied and will be less likely to go all out on a midnight refrigerator raid.
You can stay on top of holiday weight loss goals. Eating ahead, staying active and getting each day started right will help make it easier.