Everybody knows that the holidays are a time for people to get together with their families and friends, to exchange gifts, to have parties, and to eat, drink, and be merry. It is no surprise that most of us gain weight around the holidays. From mid November until the first of the New Year the pounds accumulate culminating in the most popular of all New Year's resolutions: weight loss. What if this year you were to try and debunk to norm and give a shot at experiencing holiday weight loss rather than holiday weight gain? If you are able to actually lose weight during the holidays then imagine the fun that your New Year's resolutions could offer. Maybe you could aspire to maintain your weight loss rather than get back to where you were in October. Maybe you could look to lose even more weight. Maybe your resolutions could finally include something other than weight loss for a change.
This biggest challenge to achieving holiday weight loss however is obviously the desire to eat a lot during the holidays. Second to that is the busyness of the holidays and how that affects the time necessary to maintain exercise regimens that you may already have in place. If you want to try to lose weight during the holidays then you will have to tackle these two issues individually just to maintain your weight before actually taking steps to lower your weight. It's a three pronged strategy where everything must be addressed.
Before you try and lose weight during the holidays lets first explore how to not gain weight despite the many stumbling blocks. Post holiday weight loss tips implore you to go on a strict diet and exercise regimen but for holiday weight maintenance you have to avoid the causes of weight gain. You have to eat less food than you normally eat during the holidays and you have to stay as active as you did before the holidays. Weight gain, no matter how you break it down, has to do with energy in versus energy out with energy taking the form of calories.
Every holiday meal and holiday party it seems is filled with potential foods for you to eat. You have to understand that these foods are not inherently bad to eat it's the quantity that you eat that is the problem. Your body can only burn so many calories in a day without exercise. Some people with fast metabolisms will burn more while idle than those with slow metabolisms. If you happen to have a slow metabolism then you will be familiar with the effect of weight gain with even the slightest increase in daily caloric consumption. You have to combat this by raising your metabolism not by starving yourself.
When you go on a fast your metabolism slows down and you burn fewer calories when idle. This is why it's not a good idea to skip on food during the holidays. You think you're doing yourself a favor by not eating occasionally but in fact you are slowing your metabolism down and making it harder to lose weight. In fact you are making it easier to gain weight. My number one holiday weight loss tip is to continue eating foods during the holidays. Just change the quantity of foods you eat.
Start by increasing the consumption of foods that offer the most nutrition per calorie while simultaneously decreasing the amount of foods that offer the least nutrition per calorie. This means that you should eat some of everything but you should eat more veggies per plate than meat and stuffing. You don't have to bypass the gravy or dressing but by having less foods on your plate that are covered in the toppings and more which are nutritionally valuable you will help improve your ratio of healthy calories to unhealthy calories. Assuming this ratio is balanced you will be more likely to eat fewer calories than you might otherwise without starving yourself.
The point is not to starve yourself or to overeat. You want to maintain the same level of caloric consumption as normal and this is achieved by minimizing the high calorie items on your plate and maximizing the low calorie items on your plate. By doing this you can stay full during all the meals yet still maintain normal caloric consumption levels.
Likewise you also have to maintain normal levels of activity during the holidays. Many people gain weight during the holidays because they get "off schedule". All the traveling, going to parties, and shopping cause people to skip their normal exercise routines. You need to make sure that you don't lose your routine. This is part of the balance that your body relies on for metabolism. Again metabolism is the key. Even if you maintain healthy eating patterns during the holidays you may still gain weight because you stop working out. The reason behind this is that working out causes the metabolism to speed up. It's not just about weight loss while exercising it's about increasing the amount of calories the body burns while idle which is much more important as you are idle for more minutes of the day than you are active.
If you can maintain activity levels you will naturally maintain your metabolism speed keeping things in balance. Make sure your family or friends know of your activity and exercise needs ahead of time and ask them to join you on activities which can make up for a different exercise schedule. This holiday weight loss tip is key to maintaining everything. If the holidays are about spending time with family then it doesn't matter if that time is spent going for a walk or sitting around a fire in the living room. Let your family know that you want to go for a walk and invite them to join you. Especially around Christmas and New Years this can be a lot of fun.
Finally by maintaining your normal maintenance patterns by altering your holiday meal calories consumed and maintaining your exercise routine with activities which get the body moving that can be enjoyed by the whole family you can then focus on gradual weight loss. Remember you can't expect for a lot. The holidays are only a little longer than a month but if you can mange to drop two to three pounds in December you will feel great about yourself.
A few holiday weight loss tips that I will give which are not drastic and very possible to do including cooking your finger foods in unrefined coconut oil rather than other kinds of oils. Coconut oil reacts in the intestines by signaling your brain that you are full faster than other oils. By cooking your finger foods in coconut oil you will be less likely to overeat during the big meal. Alternately you can attempt to increase your metabolism even if only artificially for a short period of time. Caffeine is a well known stimulant that has been shown to increase metabolism. Make sure you slightly increase your consumption of black coffee and black tea during the holidays. Both beverages untouched have almost no calories and plenty of caffeine to juice your metabolism.
Remember holiday weight loss is about energy in versus energy out. The metabolism is the driver of energy out. Keep it fast and you'll be doing yourself a favor. You don't have to drug yourself but a little kick can go a long way especially for those who aren't acclimated to these drinks. Strive this year for holiday weight loss and keep these three things in mind. Keep your calorie count constant, your activity levels normal, and speed up your metabolism as much as you can. You can lose weight during the holidays and if you do you'll fell great going into the New Year.