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Fit For Life: 25 Tips to Avoid the Holiday Bulge

Saturday, December 24, 2016

 

The Holidays are officially in full swing, and if you are like most people I've seen around town you are freaking out a bit. If you're not careful all that holiday stress can show up around your waist. Don't worry the bulge stops here! I put together my TOP tips to keep the "bowl full of jelly" belly at bay.


25 Tips to avoid the Holiday Bulge

1. Start your day strong and healthy - not with garbage cereal or a sugar-filled coffee drink.

2. Curb your appetite. Drink a glass of water before every meal. It will help you fill up faster and help you eat less.

3. Slow down. Eat slower and taste your food. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to recognize how much is in your stomach. It is a good idea to take a break after you eat to lessen the temptation to go for another serving!

4. Stay active. Exercise with your family and go for a walk or jog outside! We have normal scheduled classes Saturday so come in and stay on track!

5. Keep a food diary. Tracking everything you put into your body will help to point out your weaknesses. You will then be able to focus on limiting your intake of certain foods and spot when you missed a meal. What you measure you can manage!

6. Choose to eat clean 80-90% of the time. Eat more protein, vegetables and fruit and healthy fats like nuts and seeds. A handful of almonds or a freshly sliced apple is a great snack to curb your hunger!

7. Don’t go anywhere hungry. Try to arrive at any holiday parties having already eaten something healthy. That way you won’t be too prone to digging into high-calorie party foods. Also, bring a healthy option to a holiday party!

8. Maintain portion control. Pay attention to how much you put on your plate. Use smaller plates. Moderation is one of the most important elements in weight control – especially at holiday parties!

9. Choose water over alcohol. Drinking water in place of alcohol will keep you hydrated and keep your energy level high. Also – it is amazing how quickly calories in alcoholic drinks can add up! Try not to drink your calories for the day!

10. Don’t eat things if you don’t like them. Sounds simple enough! If you put it on your plate and it doesn’t taste as good as you thought, why eat it?

11. Don’t give up! Falling out of habits you are trying to accomplish for a few days, DOES NOT mean your effort is hopeless. Simply acknowledge that you ‘slipped up’ or ate poorly and get back on your plan. New day, new start!

12. Exercise on days you eat a holiday meal. Try to get a workout in on the days you know you will have a big holiday supper that day. Your metabolism will be running higher and chances are you will choose better foods!

13. Decide how many drinks you are going to have before the party. Choose light and clear alcohol over dark, and alternate between an alcohol beverage (if you are drinking) and water (same goes for soda). This cuts 100s of calories!

14. Eat more vegetables. Try to fill half of your plate with vegetables.

15. Wrap up leftovers immediately. If you wrap them up, you less likely to eat them mindlessly when you are already full.

16. Say “no” to keeping unhealthy leftovers in the refrigerator. These foods will tempt you! It is best to keep your kitchen full of healthy foods so when hunger strikes, you don’t have high calorie options to choose between.

17. Use the dirty napkin trick. When you want to stop eating throw a dirty napkin over your food.

18. Throw the snack plate away. When at a party, if the plate is plastic, toss it. If it is a dish put it in the sink. The longer you hold on to your plate, the more you will eat.

19. Have a protein shake or healthy bar snack before you go. If you are heading to a party or other gathering you can have a "clean cheat" with a healthy and awesome smoothie, so you don't pork out at the party.

20. Split dessert with somebody. This way you will only have half the calories!

21. Set goals for yourself over the holidays. Read them first thing in the morning, throughout the day and before bed. Share these goals with somebody to help you stay accountable!

22. Brush your teeth. Brush your teeth after you eat so that you won’t continue eating. Or, keep chewing gum with you and do that instead!

23. Leave the kitchen. Don’t hang out by the food table at home or at parties. Too much mindless eating!

24. If eating out, put half the meal in a box before you start eating. This will help you with portion control!

25. Make a workout calendar for yourself! Commit to a certain number of days per week that you exercise. Mark them off with a marker to show your progress. The more stress you have, the better you will handle it when you work out regularly.

If you have any questions, or I can help you your fitness and health goals please be sure to let me know. And - Happy Holidays!

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. 

 

Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

Prev Next

MapMyRun

MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

Prev Next

MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

Prev Next

JeFit

JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

Prev Next

Strava

Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

Prev Next

YogaStudio

YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

Prev Next

SimplyBeing

SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

Prev Next

Fooducate

Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android

 
 

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