The holidays bring about more than just family, cold weather and food. Things like an extra few pounds and a four-pack instead of six. Getting back in shape and staying in shape during these months of food and celebrations can be difficult. While working out consistently and keeping up with your regular eating habits are the obvious answer, it’s hard to do that with piles of mashed potatoes sitting in front of you. Instead, try these five things to keep you in check while you enjoy the holidays.
1. Eat negative-calorie foods
We all try to eat celery and apples all the time, but during the holidays it’s something we should actually do. “Negative-calorie foods” are foods that have very few calories but still require energy (calories) to digest. While the science isn’t there to back the claim, the foods will still help you lose weight. You will be filled with few calories and therefore burn more calories than you’re eating. A few of my favorite “negative-calorie foods” that are in season are oranges, broccoli, grapefruit, carrots and spinach.
2. Do some morning yoga
Any form of exercise will certainly help with weight loss, but during the holiday madness, a few minutes of yoga in the morning will help with stress as well as digestion. Light yoga may not seem like a way to lose weight, but the stretching works your muscles in ways they aren’t used to, and you’ll definitely feel sore. Be sure to include the basics in your morning routine, such as the warrior, downward dog and tree pose.
3. Take a walk
After a big meal, it’s important to make sure you digest the food properly. Before you go into a food coma or sit and watch TV, the first thing you should do is go for a walk. I know after eating so much the only thing you want to do is lay around, but a leisurely walk will help you digest the food quicker and help your body metabolize the food faster. Afterward, you may even feel more energized than when you left.
4. Snack on almonds
Preparing for a big meal often means eating as little as possible to make room for all that food, but this year, we’re staying healthy. Instead of trying to eat as much as you can, eat a handful of almonds before each meal. They’re a quick, healthy way to make you feel fuller before your meal. Often at a big meal your eyes are bigger than your stomach, but a handful of almonds will get your eyes on the same level, and you’ll end up eating less and being just as satisfied.
5. Drink plenty of water
The weight-loss trick of all weight-loss tricks: water! Never underestimate the power of a glass of water in the morning, before a big meal and after a big meal. Staying hydrated keeps your body running smoothly. You will digest your foods quicker, and your body will be able to expel the unhealthy parts with ease. A glass of water in the morning is my top weight-loss method because it’s healthy, easy and starts my day off right by boosting my metabolism.
These simple tricks for those extra holiday pounds will keep you drinking the eggnog without worrying about your health as much. Go enjoy big meals, celebrations, champagne toasts and family time without the worry as long as you keep these tips in your mind and a handful of almonds in your purse.
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