You’ve been doing great all summer long. You were diligent about getting in your workouts, being more active, eating healthier and you see the proof in the way you feel and when you look in the mirror. Doesn’t it figure, that just as we have gotten into the grind of a healthier lifestyle, fall arrives? We are inundated with pumpkin spice everything, endless access to delicious baked goods and cravings for big, hearty meals that make you feel all warm and sleepy. And as the cooler weather begins to set in, it gets darker much earlier. All of this making us want to hunker down and enjoy those amazing pumpkin cookies the neighbor brought over and watch our favorite Netflix series.
Do not fret, fellow snuggie-loving friends. Here are some tips to get through the upcoming holiday season without packing on the pounds and losing all you have worked so hard for.
Instead of going to the gym in the evenings, go during your lunch hour or right before work when your energy is the highest. You can then eat your breakfast or lunch at your desk while you are working.
There are several ways to get additional physical activity in throughout your day. Remember, every little bit counts! Go for a quick stroll around your building during breaks, walk the stairs, or go outside and get some fresh air while you are at it. There are also several little exercises that you can do while working at your desk. Search the internet for some inspiration!
Drink lots of water and include lots vegetables in your diet. Water will not only keep you hydrated but will also keep you full. Vegetables are high in fiber and are loaded with nutrients. They will also help keep you satisfied while supporting your immune system during the cold and flu season. Keeping your diet high in fiber and water will help keep away those cravings for sugary treats.
When cravings hit, try a healthy alternative first. If you’re craving those sweet and salty candy dipped pretzels, try having a small handful of regular pretzels or almonds with sea salt and some sliced apples or oranges along with it. Eating a healthy alternative first will often satisfy the craving. If it doesn’t completely hit the spot, it can dramatically reduce the amount of the actual treat you consume.
Get rid of your leftovers. We have to indulge once in a while in order to enjoy life! After you make that big pot of potato soup, enjoy it. Then pack it up into individual portions and freeze it for later or give it away. Not having all those delicious leftovers handy will eliminate you overeating high-fat foods all week long rather than just at one meal.
The old concept of a “cheat day” works great during the holiday season. If maintaining control on how much of those goodies you eat all throughout the week is too difficult, then this concept may work better for you. Stick to your healthy diet all week long except for one day. On your one cheat day… indulge! Just remember to pace yourself.
It’s a common theory that if you don’t eat all day before a big holiday meal, you can conserve calories and then eat all the turkey, mashed potatoes and pie that you want. It’s time for this theory to be debunked! Fasting all day will only slow your metabolism and make you so hungry that when you do finally eat, you will consume way more than you normally would. Instead, try to eat small, healthy meals throughout the day to allow your metabolism to rev up while also keeping you satisfied and somewhat full. You will then be able to control your cravings, make smarter choices on what you put on your plate and in the end, eat much less!