Congratulations on almost making it through another year! Whether you’ve hit your health goals for the year already or not, the holidays can quickly improve or derail those important goals you set back in January. Many people look at this time of year as a great chance to enjoy extra time with friends and family. But did you know it is also when a majority of adults tend to pack on unwanted weight gain?
The holiday season is a wonderful time of year with social gatherings and celebrations. However, it is also notorious for its impact on the waistline which evolves into a January 1st New Year’s resolution. Do you find yourself making weight loss a New Year’s Resolution every year? If so, what can you do to offset those holiday pounds?
When attending a holiday party or any social gathering, there are several tactics one can use to influence healthier food choices. These tips, when applied routinely, can lead to long term lifestyle changes to help keep extra weight off for good.
Control your food cravings
Succumbing to food cravings can be more difficult around the holidays. There always seems to be more delicious food easily available during this time of year. We understand just hard it can be to say no. Food journaling and using apps for meal tracking can be helpful, but what can you do when you have events you need to attend?
Here are a few tips to help offset food cravings during the holiday season.
- Eat protein before going to any party to avoid consuming excessive calories
- Have a plan before going and practice mindfulness while eating
- Drink plenty of water as dehydration can stimulate hunger cues
- Limit alcohol intake as this can lead to unnecessary caloric intake
- Fill up on veggies first
- Limit Carbohydrates during meals (try going ‘bunless’ for example)
Exercise during the holidays
Many people are either all in or all out with exercise. If you find this to be your pattern, especially when the weather is not optimal for outdoor activities, try changing your mindset with how you view exercise. Instead of looking at exercise as something you must do in addition to your already busy schedule, work to find ways to include exercise into your regular routine.
We know this can be difficult as the days get shorter and the temperatures start to drop. So here are some fast exercise tips we recommend you think about this season.
- Understand when you are more likely to exercise. In the morning? At lunch? Evening time?
- If you are having a day where you feel fatigued, challenge yourself to do at least 5 minutes that day to keep your routine. Even just keeping up with a little bit each day can help you feel like you are staying on track.
- Add weights to your routine. The more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be. Even just placing some extra 2 or 5 lbs. weights around your ankles, might be enough to help you get started.
- Pick some tunes that get you motivated to exercise. Music can play a huge role in altering your mindset and helping you feel more energized. This is especially important for people who tend to suffer from seasonal affective disorder during the cold months.
What to do when lifestyle change isn’t enough
Some people are faced with additional challenges when it comes to weight loss. You are doing everything right including food journaling and exercising, but still can’t seem to lose weight. If this sounds like you, a medical issue may need to be investigated. Getting a physical exam, reviewing medications you’re taking and having your blood work checked can give you more insight if you continue to struggle with weight gain.
Have you had these labs checked?
- Glucose, Hemoglobin A1C, Insulin
Keep yourself accountable
Having accountability during the holidays is one step toward preventing weight gain. If you feel you need additional help keeping on track or have a medical condition that may be contributing to your weight gain, a more personalized and in-depth evaluation may be needed. 25 Again is an elite healthcare practice that takes a more focused approach to your health and healthcare goals. Call today to make an appointment if you don’t want this January to feel like every other year.