Lose Weight for the Holidays
Lose weight during the holidays? It can happen without swearing off your favorite holiday foods.
Many of us gain a few pounds each holiday season, and they tend to stick over the years. But you win even if you maintain your weight through January.
It’s not about dieting. It’s about small tweaks with lasting results: smaller portions, balanced meals with fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains, and making time for exercise and rest. The idea is to savor the tastes of the season, enjoy friends and family and be satisfied, not stuffed. Add two or three of these tactics to your holiday wellness plan now, and you’ll have a jump on your New Year’s resolution.
- Small Plates, Skinny Glasses
As dinner plates have gotten bigger, so have we. Control your portions using smaller plates, and you’ll eat less and not know it. Champagne flutes and tall, skinny glasses will also make you feel like you’ve had more.
Starting your day on empty means you’ll overeat later. Doughnuts and coffee don’t count. Pick oatmeal with chopped apple or cinnamon or a whole-grain cereal with milk instead. Just go easy on the sugar, which could cause a sharp energy dip before lunch.
If you love eggnog, have a little, but make water your go-to drink. Fewer sodas, sports drinks and alcoholic drinks will help, too.
Being aware of what you eat and how much can take off the pounds. Keep a journal. Use an online log like the free one at mypyramid.gov. Or just take a picture of what you eat with your camera phone. And shoot for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
A slow after-dinner stroll with your Auntie Dot is fine for your heart health, but you’ll also need to make time for short, intense interval exercise if your goal is managing your weight. Try jumping rope for 30 seconds, then lifting dumbbells for 30 seconds and repeating 10 times.
Shopping, wrapping, cooking and partying until dawn may unhinge your weight-loss efforts. Research has linked a lack of sleep with food cravings and overeating, and most of us aren’t getting enough shuteye. Experts recommend a minimum of seven to eight hours.