According to an MSN survey conducted in 2011, it can take three months to lose excess weight gained over the holidays. We have a tendency to overindulge during holiday meals celebrated over Winterfest, Christmas and New Years, and for some this can amount to over 2,000 calories at a single meal!
That’s more than an adult needs for sustenance in one day. But if holiday weight loss is your goal, you can beat this problem before it begins by careful planning now. Here are some techniques to get you through the holidays without excessive eating.
Take time with your food. Make a point of enjoying what you eat. If you pay attention as you dine, you’ll find you enjoy meals more while eating less. You can practice now before the holidays begin by following these techniques.
Focus On Food
We often eat while multitasking. We have the television, phone, or tablet on. Or we read a book or newspaper. But the human brain is terrible at multitasking. When we eat this way, eating becomes automatic while we focus on the media we are consuming. So put everything else aside and concentrate on the meal in front of you.
Put Your Utensils Down
Between each bite, put your utensils down. Don’t load up in preparation for the next mouthful. Take time to enjoy that mouthful.
Use A Timer
Watch the clock. Give yourself a minute per bite. Get a feel for what that means. You’re establishing a habit here. Once you’re used to eating more slowly, you can forgo the clock and enjoy your meal.
This likely seems obvious. But the reality is, we often don’t chew our food sufficiently for proper digestion. Research suggests chewing for twenty seconds is best.
Take A Break
Build in breaks during your meal. After several bites, lean back and sip a drink for a couple of minutes. You will be eating with friends and family, so talk and listen for this time. Ask questions.
You may think it’s difficult to exercise at the holidays, but this is simply not so. It’s easy to add a walk to your schedule at the holidays because there is often much more of interest to look at. Your neighbors might have decorations up. Holiday sales are under way. Here are some exercise ideas to get your through the holidays.
Invite friends and family along when you go out. This turns the focus away from getting exercise and onto being with your loved ones and enjoying their company.
Tour The Neighborhood
If your neighbors have decorated their homes, put an hour or two into a walking tour. It will be both fun and calorie-burning. If children are part of your touring group, make a game of it. Have them count the number of blue lights they see, for example.
While holiday sales can get expensive if you over-indulge money-wise, they still have you out and moving. Perhaps plan on limiting the amount of money you take with you. The important thing is to move.
Holiday Weight Loss: Beating The Bulge Before It Begins
Start your holiday weight loss program well in advance. These tips will help you get started. Remember, the holidays are meant to be enjoyable, so don’t stress about losing the pounds. If you have a plan in place, when the holidays arrive you won’t have to think about avoiding overeating. Managing your food intake will be automatic.