The truth is, you can eat whatever you want during the holiday season and still lose weight. Sounds too good to be true?
It is not! Health experts reveal that if you eat within your calorie budget, you will maintain or lose weight. It is that simple. The trickier part is making sure you also feel satisfied, full and energised.
Dr Anmarie Kok, Slender Wonder practitioner at Supreme Aesthetics Brooklyn, provides below ten tips to get to a healthy you and keep away those extra kilograms as we head towards the holidays.
Start a routine exercise plan and keep it short
You must regularly exercise daily even when the hot weather may make you feel lethargic, or to prefer relaxing. Even a twenty-minute workout per day will have multiple benefits and make you feel healthier overall. Doing a yoga class, walking your dog, or even a short swim are great ways to make sure you get your daily workout. You could go for a gentle jog.
If you don't want to leave your home, there are plenty of free exercise videos on YouTube that you can do. Once you know that you have worked hard to exercise, you’ll be less likely to eat fatty foods and undo your hard work.
Don't drink too much festive coffee
As we head towards the festive season, our favourite coffee shops and brands introduce their Christmas-themed lattes and cappuccinos, which can be quite enticing in their pretty festive cups. But beware, these drinks can contain up to 350 – 400 calories per drink as they often consist of sugar-filled flavouring syrup and full cream milk. Opt for a regular coffee, tea, or herbal tea instead.
Stock up on the right stuff
There is no need to go to the shops every day. An empty cupboard leads to limited choices and the temptation to get takeaways. Stock up on all the right and healthy foods that you enjoy. Also, be sure to buy things you can use to whip a light meal together quickly when you don't have the time.
Avoid takeaways and eating out
Avoid takeaways or eating out for the month leading up to the festive season. Restaurant foods are generally cooked with a lot more oil and cream to make them look and taste good, leading to a much higher calorie intake, not to mention excessive fat. This will also save you a little money, which is great for the festive season when expenses are higher.
Tell people you’re trying to get lean
If you are trying to slim down for the festive season, tell your friends and family! It will remove many awkward moments when people are portioning out food when you decline certain things. Plus, if they understand that you are trying to get lean, they are less likely to apply peer pressure to push you to have another slice of cake.
Think of the end goal. Desserts now may prevent you from reaching your body weight goal. Avoiding them now will make it easier not to have too many during the holiday season. It will also give you something to look forward to. Next time you look at ice cream, think of how much more you will enjoy it when you are relaxing with friends and family during the holiday.
Cut out alcohol 5 or 6 days a week
Alcohol can be toxic for your body and your liver. Stay clear of drinking that could wreak havoc on your health just before all the parties. Alcoholic drinks are also very high in calories. We are all human, and it is understandable if you look forward to it at the end of the week, but breaking the habit of having it daily will do wonders for your body.
If you are on a medical weight loss programme like Slender Wonder, you’ll already have guidelines and what to eat and what not to eat. If you are not, a simple way to lower your calorie intake is to allow yourself one “extra” that is added to your main course meal. For example, the bread roll, or the chip & dip before the meal, never both.
Sleep plays a huge role in weight gain and weight maintenance. While most people need approximately eight hours of sleep, each person is different. Ensure that you get at least seven hours of sleep. Sleep helps your body repair efficiently and boosts its resilience.
Focus on portion sizes
The size of the portions you eat is almost as important as what you eat. Train yourself to eat moderate portion sizes, and half the battle will be won!