With holiday feasts straight ahead and approaching fast, most of us are already secretly rejoicing at the thought of guilt-free trips to candyland. But even with the Christmas spirit as a seemingly rock-solid excuse for unwarranted overeating sprees during the holidays, you will inevitably face the dire judgment of your favorite skinny jeans once the jolly season is over, so perhaps it would be a good idea to skip at least some of the tasty treats on the banquet menu.
Do not know how to pull that one off? Here are some useful tips to help you avoid going overboard with unhealthy foods during the festive season.
No limits are best limits
Most people looking to lose weight or preserve their lean figure have a hard time following rigorous diet agendas. The main reason for this lies in a simple psychological mechanism: forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest.
This is why it would be a clever idea to resort to the easiest trick in the book and allow yourself to eat whatever you want, whenever you want it. By eliminating tight boundaries, you will preserve the sense of control and possibility of making your own choices, and for most people, that kind of freedom will reduce the stress that goes hand in hand with strict dietary limitations.
Focus on healthy dietary options
Once you know you can have any dish on the Christmas menu, aim to structure your diet around healthy options such as wholegrain bread, legumes, fruit, dairy products and lean meats. Keep your calorie count in check by having a balanced breakfast consisting of low-fat milk, unsweetened cereals and a fruit of your choice, or hard boiled eggs, lean meat and a slice of wholegrain toast.
Follow up on a nutrient-rich breakfast with a belly-filling lunch comprising boiled or baked veggies for sufficient fiber and complex carbs, non-fatty meats for protein and a crispy salad for vitamins and minerals. Allow yourself a sweet treat once or twice a day, but do not cheat: one too many pecan pie slices are counterproductive to weight maintenance.
Chew slowly and savor every bite
During a family reunion or New Year’s Eve party, do not stay at the table longer than you need to: the longer you hang around the banquet, the more prone you will be to the appeal of fattening foods.
Instead of wolfing down your meal, chew slowly and enjoy every bite: studies show that it takes approximately 20 minutes from the moment you start to eat for your brain to signal to your body that you are full. Eating slowly is a perfect deterrent to digestive problems and extra waistline inches, and this tactic will help you stay on top of your calorie count without compromising your meal enjoyment.
Hydration matters even on Christmas
Proper hydration constitutes an important segment of holiday diet. By drinking lots of liquids such as water, unsweetened juice and plant-based smoothies, you will do your digestive system a favor by helping it process often heavy festive foods. In addition to that, sufficient H2O intake will produce a valuable detox effect and help your kidneys filter out waste matter such as excess sodium and potentially harmful chemicals found in industrial foods.
Do not forget your regular exercises
Though you probably do not imagine Christmas holidays as a perfect window for lengthy gym sessions, you should still find the time and willpower to follow through your habitual workout plan.
A number of celebrities such as Fergie, Jane Fonda and Christina Applegate resort to heavy workouts in case they pig out during the holidays – and intense physical activity is admittedly the easiest non-invasive way to trim your figure back to its sexy shape.
Are you ready for the holiday season? Follow the simple strategies listed above and avoid utter diet derailment this Christmas – your body will be eternally grateful to you for a moderate degree of restraint.