Well, it is that time of the year again, Holiday Season. I personally enjoy this time of the year the most. It gives you time to celebrate with loved ones, catch up on memories, and be around more food than you need to be. The average American gains 10-15 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years.
It is also a shame to sit at the dinner table and deprive yourself of wonderful foods that you do not get to eat every year. So what is the answer to keep your physique in check? Planning!
In this article I am going to discuss some methods we all can do to keep the weight gain to a minimum. In fact some of you may find out that come the New Year you will be leaner. So let's take a look.
If you are already doing cardio it may be good to add a few minutes to each session starting now. If you add 5 minutes per day, at the end of the week, you did an extra 45 minutes of cardio. Increase your cardio by as many minutes as you feel. I would not just increase it on the day of, or the day after a holiday.
Make it a consistent thing. I experience that when people say they will add some more cardio to make up of the holidays, they wind up burning out or being so fatigued from trying to catch up with the food they ate. So plan ahead, start adding some extra time in. You may even find you start losing body fat or weight, which is ok!
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A few days before a holiday, here you know you are going to be eating whatever you want, drop your carbohydrates 2 - 3 days before. For example, Thanksgiving is on a Thursday, so Mon-Wed, drop your carbs in half or just replace your complex carbs with fibrous vegetables.
Come Thursday, your body will be depleted of its' glycogen stores, so the majority of the food you eat will not get stored as fat, but rather be used for replenishing muscle glycogen, growth and repair. This is probably the one I utilize in the holiday season that really works well.
The principal stored form of carbohydrate energy (glucose), which is reserved in muscles. When your muscles are full of glycogen, they look and feel full.
Keep your water intake high. Not only will you be more hydrated, but it will also give you the feeling of fullness. Sometimes when you are thirsty, your body may perceive it as hunger. So keeping your water intake up will curb your appetite, and cause you not to eat as much.
The day of a holiday feast, try taking in some fiber before hand. You can either supplement with fiber pills, powdered fiber, or what I prefer, eat a ton of veggies. Fiber with combinations of water will fill you up, make you full, and prevent you form over eating come your holiday meal. Besides you get the extra benefits of nutrient rich vegetables.
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Eat Your Protein & Veggies First At Dinner
On the day of the holiday, I would first start filling myself up on protein rich foods and vegetables. First, you are getting your protein in and nutrients, secondly, you will fill up with less calorie dense food. Then from there go onto your carbs and dessert.
Keep To Your Regular Diet
I know many of you may feel that you are going to eat so much later on that you should not eat or eat very little until the holiday meals. Doing that will cause you to feel starved and wind up eating way more than you would normally eat. Start off the day like it was any other day.
If for example Thanksgiving dinner is at 5pm, consider it as one of your meals so that day, wake up, and eat meals 1-4 clean and as you always do. Your blood sugar levels will not be so low come the holiday dinner, and you will not be inclined to gorge yourself out of starvation.
This is the best part of all! Come your holiday meal, enjoy yourself. Follow some of the guidelines above, and do not feel the least bit guilty for indulging in your favorite foods. At the same time through proper planning, you will be able to keep your metabolism up, ward off fat stores, and feel good at the same time.
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Give some of these things a try, and I assure you, you will be able to "have your Apple Pie and eat it too!" I hope all of you have a safe and happy holiday season!