How not to overindulge in the holidays!

2013November25_TravelVacations_AWith Thanksgiving around the corner in the US and Canada, and many other countries getting ready for the festive season ahead, it’s easy for the end-of-year holidays to slump into the season of indulgence. This can also threaten to undo any positive health and fitness progress made during 2013. It could also set an unhealthy precedent for the coming year. The only solution is to keep overindulgence in check.

Have you noticed that suddenly the supermarket food aisles look so much more tempting, crammed with tasty treats? Do you find yourself watching television only to be craving the gourmet goodies that flick on during the ad breaks? By the time the festive season comes to an end it’s little wonder that many people have caved into cravings and been led astray by clever marketing, social occasions and their own perspective. Aside from shunning all that is festive, there are ways you can make sure that you don’t overindulge in the holidays. Here’s how:

  1. Keep the exercise up: Extra food, greater calories and fat and less exercise; it’s a recipe for disaster when it comes to piling on the pounds and feeling less healthy. With more social events, often involving fatty foods, your schedule can become messed up. Try being a little more flexible or change your exercise routine for the next month or so. You may even want to add on a little more training to balance the extra indulgences.

  2. A little bit of what you fancy: Starve yourself of a few goodies and you may end up feeling miserable and deprived. The good news is that research suggests those people who still eat favorites such as chocolate when they are dieting are better at losing weight and keeping it off. While what you eat is important, it is often a case of monitoring portion control.

  3. Be creative in the kitchen: Whether you struggle to boil an egg or are a whizz in the culinary craft, mix it up and learn new dishes that are perfect for the festive season but healthy too. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to food and this is the perfect time to add in some interesting ingredients.

  4. Check food labels: You’re busy and you have the big weekly shop to get in – as well as all the extras. It’s understandable that you’re not going to analyze every label on every product. However, it’s also vital that you know what you are eating. Some foods may be packaged to look as if they are healthy or may be family favorites, but pay some attention to whether they are nutritional nightmares when it comes to fat content and calories.

  5. Alternative activities: When families and friends get together the easiest thing to do is to cook a meal or perhaps go out for dinner. Sharing food with people you have a bond with can be a wonderful experience. However, thinking a little outside the box may save your waistline. There are lots of activities that are fun, engaging and can bring people together. Add a seasonal twist for a festive atmosphere.

  6. Wait 10 minutes: Do you remember when adults used to tell children to wait 10 minutes after a meal to know if they were full or not? Well, they had a point. With buffets aplenty being laid out in the spirit of festive parties there’s really no cut-off point to grazing with intent. If your brain is telling you that you have had your fill wait for your body to make you feel full-up.

  7. Drinks galore: ‘Tis the season to be merry and many people take this to excess. You might be secretly praising yourself for turning down that last piece of turkey, but if you are downing lots of sugary drinks, alcoholic or otherwise, then this may affect your weight, how you feel and your health as well.

  8. Look to 2014: While you want to enjoy life as it happens, is it really worth creating an unhealthy you just for the sake of some overindulgence that could have been easily avoided? Keeping part of your focus on 2014 and what you want to achieve in the year ahead can be a great way to not be overly hedonistic at the end of 2013.

Start New Year feeling great. Get in touch if you want to get fit and stay fit.

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