The holiday is the toughest season for those who are trying to lose weight. Most people just give up and block these three months to not caring about what they eat. It is understandable though. It is not so fun to always feel cautious and anxious about the food whenever you try to enjoy holiday dinners with family. Refusing certain meals would be perceived as rude behavior in some families. There are ways to get away from that though. Here are the tips to have an enjoyable healthy holiday.
This is optional because fasting might not work for everybody. Studies have shown the benefits of intermittent fasting for weight loss and blood sugar control. Intermittent fasting puts your body in ketosis. According to WebMD, ketosis is a process that happens when your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy. Instead, it burns fat and makes things called ketones, which it can use for fuel. In addition to helping you burn fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. It also helps you keep muscle. However, if you are interested in doing intermittent fasting, do not just do it on holiday months. Start a few weeks to a month before to let your body adjust to the changes due to ketosis. If you can, try to decrease the eating window to 8 or 6 hours. You can do it anytime in the day. Some people like to eat at night, some people like to eat in the morning. But make sure you have stopped eating heavy meals 2 hours before bedtime.
When the dinner starts, do not go heavy right away. Start with the soup. A Penn State study shows that eating low-calorie soup before a meal can help cut back on how much food and calories you eat at the meal. The results show that when participants in the study ate a first course of soup before a lunch entree, they reduced their total calorie intake at lunch (soup + entree) by 20 percent, compared to when they did not eat soup. The study tested whether the form of soup and the blending of its ingredients also affected food intake and satiety. Soups tested included separate broth and vegetables, chunky vegetable soup, chunky-pureed vegetable soup, and pureed vegetable soup. While researchers thought that increasing the thickness or the amount of chewing required may have made certain forms of soup more filling, the results of the study show that low-calorie soup is filling regardless of its form.
When it is time to dive into the main course, go for high-protein food such as turkey breast, salmon, pork loin, meatballs, or beef steak. High protein foods make you feel full longer and satisfied so you will eat less and cut down on snacking. High protein foods not only help you build and maintain lean muscle mass, but also give you extra nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium. You do not have to completely avoid your favorite holiday foods. One tip is to skip the foods you can eat year-round, like chocolate chip cookies. Instead, taste the special treats you can only get this time of year, like gingerbread. If you really want to have chocolate chip cookies, it’s also okay. Just remember, everything in moderation.
The holiday season is typically packed with a lot of free time. Make use of this free time by moving. You can do simple things like cleaning the house, preparing meals, decorating, or doing laundry. Walk the dog (if you have one), or just go for a walk or a run in the neighborhood. Do our recommended free Youtube workouts or you can try our stairs workout if you are not in the mood of going outside.
It is a little tricky but definitely doable. Do not let the holiday season set you back. A little set back is okay but do not settle there. Get up and work on it. The weight loss journey is never easy. You will have some setbacks. But believe in yourself. You will get there. Be strong and keep on going.