5 Ways To Avoid Weight Gain During The Festive Season
It is so easy to give in to all the treats during this festive season and those extra pounds just pile on. When January comes, you are thinking why didn't I have a better strategy?? So here it is...
1) Eat something before you go to a party/event
At a party typically, you will always find high-carbohydrate & high-fat foods. If you go in hungry, you will fill yourself with these mindlessly.
Game Plan: Eat a meal with protein, fibre and healthy fat. For example, chicken breast, some stir-fried green vegetables or green salad & some sautéed sweet potato in olive oil. This will keep you full and satiated and avoid you from over-indulging.
2) Slow down your eating time
Generally, it takes around 15-20 minutes for your stomach to communicate with the brain that it has had enough to eat. If you are very hungry or you tend to eat very quickly say 3-5 minutes then you may overeat very easily.
Game Plan: Take your time to eat. Enjoy socialising and catching up with friends. Be relaxed and enjoy the food you are tasting. Time yourself if necessary to eat slower and chew the food properly so you can enjoy the whole experience and avoid over eating.
3) Choose to eat protein and vegetables at the party
There is always a lot of yummy food especially sugar or carb laden foods. These foods cause a blood sugar rise quickly and are empty calories- meaning they have no nutrients to fill your cells. After some time, you will feel hungry again as the cells haven't been nourished.
Game Plan: Cold cuts like turkey or cheese are almost always at parties. Eat these first, they are not exactly ideal but in this situation they are the best choices as are nuts and seeds. There are also usually dips with vegetables, consume more vegetables & dip sparingly. This way you are creating a base so as to avoid cravings and promote fullness at the same time.
4) Workout before you go to an event
Strength training & high intensity workouts are great to keep the body burning calories all day as it depletes glycogen stores in the muscles. EPOC (Express Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) is a concept known "after burn"- the body can continue to burn calories upto 24 hours after the exercise. When you are replenishing the stores, it goes straight to the muscles. This way you are not storing excess fat. It is being used up immediately.
Game Plan: Choose your morning exercise routine to be HIIT or strength training. If you can schedule it to be a few hours before your event, then even better.
5) Drink water first
Always be hydrated to ensure you are not mixing up the signals with hunger. A lot of the times we are just dehydrated and get confused with being hungry.
Game Plan: Drink water 20-30 minutes before the event so that it creates a fullness and you are not walking in hungry first.
So I have dived straight into giving you suggestions and ideas on how you can minimise weight gain during the holidays but that doesn't mean you don't enjoy and indulge. Use some of these strategies to be in control depending on how many events you have lined up but give in and enjoy as well since it is that time of the year to be happy and merry too!
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