The holidays are a non-stop festival of celebrations, foods, and drinks. Unfortunately, along with the fun comes some extra poundage! But what if this year was different? What if you could continue to get through the holidays without gaining any weight—and maybe even lose a few pounds?
Well, we’ve got three simple tips that’ll help keep your waistline in check before more thoughts of sugarplums and holiday cookies start dancing in your head.
Related: 4 Ways To Eat Healthier During the Holiday Season
#1: Gain control of portion size
One of the biggest sabotages to weight loss is excessive portion size. If you don’t want to pack on the pounds this month, you need to be aware of what a true portion size looks like so you don’t continuously overindulge throughout the season.
Related: Foods to Avoid Before You Workout
What does a true portion look like? To help you gain perspective, start by measuring and weighing your food. Get familiar with how big a 1/2 cup of cooked pasta is or what three ounces of meat really looks like on a dish. Then when you fill up your plate at the next holiday party, you’ll have a better understanding of how much you should be eating and won’t pile on loads of unnecessary calories.
#2: Fill half your plate with fresh produce at every meal
No one wants to go through the holidays feeling hungry or deprived, but this can happen when you’re cutting down your portion sizes. A simple trick that’ll help you feel satisfied is to fill up on fresh produce.
Fresh produce like non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, and carrots, along with fresh fruit such as berries, melons, and apples are loaded with nutrients and filling fiber. This combination allows you to eat larger portions all while taking in fewer overall calories and promoting weight loss.
To make sure you eat enough produce each day, focus on filling half of your plate at every meal with vegetables and fruit. For instance, if you have eggs in the morning, make your omelet appear larger by stuffing it with spinach and tomato. For lunch, add a side salad or a bowl of vegetable soup with a sandwich to fill you up. It’s a super simple way to make a great impact on your waistline and body weight.
#3: As the weather cools, heat up your workout
Don’t let the cooler temperatures keep you bundled up indoors! Use the brisk weather as a way to motivate yourself to warm up by intensifying your workout. If you’re not already exercising, you should aim to be active for at least 30 to 60 minutes every day.
Already have a fitness routine? Find ways to increase the intensity to torch more calories and shed more pounds before the parade of fattening festivities. For instance, if you walk at a consistent speed daily, add interval training by walking at a fast speed for 30-60 seconds every five minutes of your walk. You can also and an incline to your walk to make it more challenging as well.
If you weight train, try increasing the weight you lift by 5-10% or add a few extra repetitions to the end of each set to further challenge your muscles. Consider trying a whole new form of exercise to prevent boredom and challenge new muscles such as CrossFit, Zumba, or even taking up a winter sport like cross country skiing. By adjusting your workout, you can burn more calories every minute making your weight loss efforts more effective. Bonus: If you maintain your new workout throughout the holiday season, you can burn off some of those extra holiday calories which will help you maintain your new weight well into the New Year!
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