3 Healthy Habits to Keep Off Pesky Holiday Weight

Already fretting the 5 holiday pounds with your name on them? The arrival of Halloween, a holiday exploding with candy and sweets, followed by the most gluttonous holiday of them all, Thanksgiving, is only matched by a succession of winter holiday parties and New year’s festivities ripe with overconsumption – it’s a wonder you’re not staring down 10 or 20 extra lbs come January.

If you’re looking to get ahead of the game and keep off that pesky holiday weight, don’t miss these key tips:

Start a Breakfast Habit Now

If you’re simply “not a breakfast person,” you might think again. A breakfast rich with whole grains and protein has many benefits including kick-starting your metabolism and helping you feel fuller longer, which equips you with the willpower late morning cravings. Multiple studies have shown associations between eating breakfast and staving off weight gain; most recently researchers in Japan recorded increases in body mass index of individuals over 5 years who skipped breakfast versus their counterparts who ate breakfast.

A healthy breakfast habit plays an important role during the holidays as well as so many holiday meals and gatherings take place later in the morning or early afternoons. For many, late meals means starving yourself until party-time which leads to increased cravings and overeating. A healthy breakfast should include nutritious components that are quick and easy to put together:

  • A bowl of whole grain quick oats with walnuts and blueberries
  • Scrambled eggs with whole grain toast and a glass of low-fat milk
  • Fruit salad with quinoa
  • Fried eggs on sauteed kale with sweet potatoes
  • Avocado toast with greek yogurt
  • Whole grain waffles with fresh fruit

Try Morning Meditation

Much of your own ability to keep off unwanted weight comes down to your own self-awareness a mind-body connection. Everything from recognizing when you are full, to how you perceive your own physical and mental health stems from a place of mindfulness. Morning meditation could be just what you are looking for to help you stay grounded (and fit) this holiday season.

The act of meditation varies by practitioner – for some it might be an attempt to achieve peace and relaxation through total thoughtlessness while for others it might involve meaningful concentration on positive thoughts and mantras. Meditation has been shown to help:

  • Alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety
  • Lower risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Improve concentration
  • Motivate healthier lifestyle behaviors
  • Boost immunity and reduce inflammation
  • Increase feelings of happiness and positivity

When it comes to tackling holiday eating, daily meditation may help address the reasons why you over-consume unhealthy holiday treats. Perhaps the season uncovers hidden stressors or loneliness which drive you to eat and drink more than you normally would. Or you tend to skip meals and work overtime only to end the day in another pint of ice cream. Meditation will make you more mindful and also hone your own self-discipline and self-worth. Weary of how to get started? Try doing mindful exercises like yoga or tai chi which incorporate meditative aspects, or check out apps like Head Space or Stop, Breathe & Think.

Construct an Exercise Routine

The more routine your daily exercise becomes, the more likely you are to stick with it, even during those chaotic holiday months. Whether you are trail running in the cool, crisp mornings of fall, hitting the gym each night, or simply doing your own high intensity bodyweight workout at home, setting aside time each day (experts recommend at least 30 minutes) to exercise is a must. Your fitness habit can easily translate into a bonafide way to burn extra calories come holiday-time and help keep your waistline from growing.

Sidelined by foot pain from fitness injuries like stone bruise or plantar fasciitis? Don’t ignore a fitness injury that can potentially impact your activity levels in detrimental ways. Consult your doctor for a firm diagnosis and treatment recommendations – they may involve physical therapy stretches, icing, heat therapy, or wearing orthotic aids. Visit this website for the best shoe inserts for running.

It’s easy to let a fitness routine fall to the wayside when you’re hitting the roads and skies for holiday travel. Be smart about where you stay and what you do, keeping up with exercise on the road doesn’t have to be difficult:

  • Stay in a hotel with a gym or pool so you don’t have an excuse not to exercise
  • Live stream free instructional videos (i.e. yoga, HIIT, etc.) from the comfort of your hotel room
  • Choose to walk or bike (where able) on vacation instead of driving
  • Find physical volunteer opportunities during the holidays, or create your own, like offering to shovel a neighbor’s driveway

When it comes to tackling holiday weight, don’t get caught off guard trying to lose it after the New Year rolls around. Instead, be smart about preventing unwanted weight gain through meditation, healthy eating, and regular exercise.

 

Image courtesy of [Yongkiet] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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