Believe it or not, the holidays are here: as tempting as it may be to throw caution to the wind and barrel forward through another year of stress-induced cookie and brittle binging, you’re probably doing your best to pump the brakes and remain in control.
If you’re trying to stave off holiday weight gain between now and the new year, we’ve got a few tips to help you keep your hands firmly on the wheel clear through January 1.
Skipping the gym
For many people, the symbiotic relationship between diet and exercise is crucial: when you exercise you may be less likely to plow through three or four Christmas cookies, lest you undo your sweat effort. Exercise also produces endorphins, helping mitigate holiday stress.
Skimping on sleep
Not getting enough sleep can cause hormonal dysfunction, increasing stress and hunger hormones and making you more prone to crave high Calorie, high sugar foods. Set a firm bedtime and stick with it.
Refueling in the land of temptation
While it’s tempting to hit to food court during a power shop extravaganza, stay away at all costs, or go in with a healthy plan.
If your food court offers nothing in the way of healthy options, pre plan your meals ahead of time using Yelp to look for healthier options nearby. Take a break, refuel, and avoid the Cinnabon.
Underestimating the power of “no”
Boundaries are important! Remember that you can say no and still be kind. Saying no to extra things that you don’t have time for helps manage stress in an already crazed season, and helps free up space for engaging in the things you actually want to spend time on.
Practice saying “no, thank you” to foods that you know you will regret later. Prior to an event, think about what foods and beverages will be offered, how to create moderation within that event, and which foods/beverages you will be politely declining.
Allowing the holiday to become the holidays
It’s tempting to allow leftovers to hang around for a little too long. Where possible, politely decline leftovers or send them home with others.
That way, you’re able to enjoy the holiday, without the indulgences of a single day becoming a week or month’s worth of overeating.