10 Holiday Strategies to Save You From Stretchy Pants

Nobody likes to be left out of the holiday fun, including all those holiday parties. Here’s some pointers that will allow you to be social and enjoy yourself without splitting your pants before the New Year:

1.) Train With High-Intensity Activity Before and/or After a Big Meal or Holiday Feast

I know, I know, tell it to the judge. I promised strategies, but I simply cannot go without recommending some activity. Your body is most receptive to higher carbs within 30 minutes before and within three hours following an intense workout. Ideally you would want to workout out before AND after a big meal, but if you can only do one, that will suffice. Don’t obsess over it – Even a 20-30 plus minute walk a few hours afterwards can help a little bit..

2.) Do NOT save up your calories for your Holiday Feast

Eat as you normally would on a good nutrition plan – At each meal, get in your protein and veggies. If you go into that huge meal in a fasted state, you are going to overeat, and because you are so hungry, your body will be craving all the high sugar and fat foods! You are just setting yourself up for a sugar crash and fat gain.

3.) Do NOT Gorge Yourself

Maintain your discipline, and eat until you are satisfied, not until you have to loosen your belt. Remember this: binge eating is not the habit of lean individuals. It is imperative to understand that that holiday meals are not a ticket to eat as much as you can in as little time as possible. Eat to live, don’t live to eat.

4.) Eat Healthy Fats and a Protein-Rich Meal An Hour Before the Big Party

This is another great way to help you from stuffing your face with sugar cookies. Healthy fats and protein are a powerful combination in helping you be full and satisfied. A great strategy is to have a protein shake adding in 2 Tablespoons of flaxseed. Nutritious, delicious, easy to prepare and it won’t go from your mouth to your hips.

5.) First Things First – Eat Your Vegetables

Just because it’s a holiday meal doesn’t mean you can’t eat any nutritious food. Head for the vegetable and meat tray and get something good in you. This will leave less room for the unhealthier, higher calorie treats.

6.) Water, Water, Everywhere

Water competes for space in your stomach and really does help keep you from overeating. For every plate of food you eat, drink a glass of water. After that second plate, when you have 1 full liter of water in your stomach, I bet you might just throw in the towel!

7.) Immediately Resume Your Normal Eating Schedule at the Next Meal

Ok, you had your fun, and what’s done is done. It’s time to get right back on the wagon, and back to normal, healthy eating habits. Don’t let one meal become one week and then turn into a month.

8.) Don’t Eat Junk Food at Breakfast or Bedtime

Eating a highly refined carbohydrate meal first thing in the morning will make your blood sugar levels go crazy for the rest of the day resulting in greater junk food cravings and uncontrollable hunger. On the other hand, eating a big meal before bed will result in a bunch of unused energy that will be stored as body fat and can cause trouble sleeping.

9.) Don’t Drink Your Calories

It is way too easy to get way too many calories in liquid form. One can easily consume over 1,000 calories per day from liquid calories alone. This means that in one week, you will gain 2 lbs of body fat from just fluids! Those holiday lattes ARE yummy, but the extra fat attached to your backside not so much! Also, sugar laden and alcoholic beverages tend to make you hungrier in general and often hungrier for junk food in particular. Furthermore, your body cannot burn fat until the alcohol is processed out of your body. It could be setting you back anywhere from a few days to as long as a full week!

10.) Avoid Eating Meals that are High in Carbohydrates Alone

The absolute worst thing that you can do is to eat a meal that is high in carbohydrates without balancing it out with some protein and healthy fats.  The high amount of carbs will lead to a rapid increase in blood sugar levels , which increases the potent fat-storing hormone Insulin. Good for a Sumo wrestler, bad for you.

Following the strategies outlined above will keep those stretchy pants at bay this holiday.

Don’t give into the mindset that holiday fat gain has to happen. Following these simple strategies will help you enter the new year better than ever!

To Your Best Health,

Nancy

About the author

Coach Nancy

Nancy Carlson is a Certified Professional Fitness Trainer with the National Exercise and Sports Trainer Association, a Level 1 Youth Conditioning Specialist with the International Youth Conditioning Association, and is a Level 2 Certified Precision Nutrition Master coach. Nancy was recognized in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 as the “Best of the Best” Fitness Trainer in Southern NH by the Hippo Press.

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