Do these 7 things to avoid putting on holiday pounds
Holiday celebrations and weight gain go hand-in-hand.
However, dietitians and exercise experts agree – there are sound strategies you can use to help prevent weight gain before a large, festive meal. According to “Women’s Health” magazine, these seven tips will help you avoid packing on the pounds this season.
- Don’t starve yourself.
Starving yourself slows metabolism. Stuffing yourself excessively causes your body to store extra calories as fat. To gain one pound, 3,500 calories must be consumed beyond your normal caloric intake. Avoid fat storage and activate metabolism by eating normally before the big meal.
- Drink a glass of water.
Drinking six 8-ounce glasses of water daily is the golden rule. Save one or two of those glasses to drink before the meal. This will help you feel full and possibly reduce how much you eat.
- Brush your teeth and breath deeply.
The ingredients in peppermint are known to suppress appetite. Whether sipping, sniffing or brushing, the scent of peppermint can be a natural antidote to craving extra helpings.
- Plan ahead.
When you fail to plan, you can plan to fail. Planning your meal ahead of time will help you be in control of what you eat. Decide what you “must have” and adjust your consumption around that. Perhaps a special dessert, your favorite appetizer or sparkling cocktail are your splurge items. Don’t deprive yourself. Rather, indulge, and the feeling may help keep you on track for the big meal.
- Eat an apple.
Fiber is known to boost weight loss. By eating an apple 15 minutes before a big meal, it’s possible you may reduce your meal calories by approximately 15 percent. Apples are packed with fiber.
- Hit the gym.
Get physical. Take a run. Visit the gym. Doing this the day of the large meal can reduce your appetite by suppressing the hunger hormone, according to Women’s Health. The more intense the workout, the greater the hormone suppression.
- Sleep tight.
Getting sufficient sleep can influence your food choices. Too little sleep can cause an increase in your desire for unhealthy foods. Sleeping a full seven to eight hours nightly is recommended to steer your cravings away from junk food.
“Accountability is key to avoiding holiday weight gain. Partner up with someone who also wants to avoid putting on extra pounds. Then, check in with each other frequently and encourage one another along the way,” says Lee Ann Strunk, nutrition specialist at the Advocate Condell Medical Center Centre Club in Libertyville, Ill.
About the Author
Chris Vicik, health enews contributor, is the director of public affairs for Advocate Health Care's north region, which includes Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Good Sheperd Hospital in Barrington, and Sherman Hospital in Elgin. She has more than 20 years of health care marketing and public affairs experience with hospitals in the Chicagoland area. Chris has two college-age kids who have made her an empty nester. She enjoys playing racquetball, biking and running. Chris is a dog lover and spends a lot of time playing with her clever beagle, Zoey.