Post Holiday Diet and Weight-loss Tips

Well, the holiday season is over, and I am about to head back to work and school after a too long winter break with a few extra winter pounds.

What about you? Did you stay on track during holiday feasts? I sure didn’t… Of course, who would be able to with so many tempting delicacies just waiting to be inhaled? Certainly not even those with the strongest of willpowers.

Well, according to a study conducted by researchers at Sweden’s Linkoping University, the four wonderful weeks I spent “celebrating” can lead to severe long-term weight gain.

Thanks Sweden.

Luckily, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, the actual average weight gain over the holidays is only one pound. So what’s the big deal? When we gain that pound, we don’t ever lose it. After 20 holiday seasons sans weight loss of any kind, that 20 pound gain turns into a few more jeans sizes up. Boo.

Here are eight effective ways to stave off holiday poundage.

1.      Buy clothes that fit now. If you find jeans that make your summer body shine, wear ‘em! (And don’t let them get snug!)

2.      Write it down. If you write it down and do the math daily, instead of hide your diary in the bottom of your underwear drawer, you can lessen the damage of serious weight gain.

Directly quoted from the article (because I think it is funny): “It’s almost like we’re hoping that if we didn’t write it down, it didn’t happen. Unfortunately, the scale doesn’t fit in that bottom drawer.” (My scale is in the storage drawer underneath my bed. Bad skinnyshae. Bad!)

3.      Keep exercising. I didn’t take this advice as closely to heart as I should have.

4.      Eat before parties. I actually do this very well. If I know I’m going out and bad food is abounding, I generally eat something at home before leaving. It’s a great way to keep from noshing when noshing is not allowed!

5.      Get junk out of the house. Did your family send you home with leftover pie? Trash it. Did your coworkers make the most amazing White Russian cupcakes and send two home with you? Feed them BOTH to your husband. (That’s what I did. Of course… I really wanted one of them…)

6.      Offer to bring the salad or veggies to a family gathering or party. Instead of drowning something in delicious butter (awesome) drown it in some delicious strawberries! For example, we usually have a spinach strawberry salad with raspberry vinaigrette at family holidays. I don’t know why we didn’t this year. Stuff was amazing.

7.      Choose wisely and proportionally. You do not have to try one serving of every item on the table –especially not every dessert. Be picky! Be choosy! And don’t go overboard with the serving spoon.

8.      Don’t beat yourself up. Although I often think this is the only way I’ll make any progress. Of course, feeling worse and worse about slipping only once really makes us slip again and again. Remember when I got all mad? Yeah, that’s how I operate. Don’t be me. Just do what I say. ;)

Well, if you didn’t do any of that… I didn’t… Here is Livestrong.com with an article to help you lose the holiday weight you gained.

Step One: Return to –or start –a regular exercise program.

Step Two: Lift weights. Muscle burns fat (or something like that).

Step Three: Trash those holiday treats!

Step Four: Cut out the high-calorie beverages (egg nog and alcohol). Drink water. Just water… and coffee…

What should your post-Christmas diet be? Livestrong.com will tell you what it shouldn’t be…

Carbs. No more candy, cake, pie and sweet drinks. Cut out simple carbohydrates and replace them with whole grains.

Increase your vegetables. You can have as many as you want in a day. I think a bag of frozen peas has 100 calories. That’s it! And it’s a whole bag of peas! Eat more greens, girls and guys!

Reinstate regular meal times. Regular meal times do not exist in my house because Husband and I live on different schedules, which sucks, but we always try to eat dinner/breakfast together. Depending on if he’s hungry enough for a meal when he wakes up and whether or not I make enough food for him to take to “lunch” of course… But, yeah, definitely eat 200 to 300 calories per meal approximately three hours apart. Regular.

Drink lots of water. Water flushes out holiday toxins (sugar, alcohol, sugar, Grandma’s fruit cake… whatever). Hate water? Love on some tea of the green variety. :)

Plan and be realistic. You’re going to indulge during the holidays so plan for it. But don’t diet so hardcore after your bingeing that you starve yourself. One: You’re going to confuse your body, and Two: It isn’t healthy to “extreme diet.” Restore the balance you teetered from during the holidays and that bulge in your waistline will go away.

(Hell, it’s probably just bloating anyway.)

And for those of us who love lists…

Tips for the Holidays (Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter… all coming up.)

  1. When you’re out at a holiday party, don’t just dance for one song—stay on the dance floor and be a dancing machine.
  2. Ignore valet parking and don’t waste your time driving around for 20 minutes for a close parking spot. Park and walk. Once inside, make a conscious choice to take the stairs.
  3. Eat a healthy snack before you leave the house to go to a holiday party or the grocery store. If you don’t, you could find yourself filling your basket or your tummy with stuff you would normally pass up.
  4. Make sure when you leave for the party you’re not empty-handed. Keep your hands full with holding a purse, camera, cell phone . . . anything that will keep you from holding food or a drink.
  5. When you do eat at the gathering, grab a small plate; think small portions; and once you have your plate of food, stay far away from the table of temptation.
  6. Just say no to aunt Betty (mother-in-law, grandmother, creepy uncle, etc.) when she wants to load you down with doggie bags of leftover ham, macaroni and cheese and sweet potato pie.
  7. Remember to hydrate… with water.

Don’t you wish I had done this earlier? I’m so lazy sometimes… Breaking my resolution already!