Each year as the air starts to get colder and the Christmas lights start springing up all around town, ovens fill with cookies, pies, and other scrumptious treats while delectable holiday dinners await.
Fears of putting on a few extra pounds prey on the minds of many while most of us are too lazy to do anything about it. Want to know a secret? With some mildly altered eating habits and a bit more of a relaxed setting, you can trim down the extra pounds before the spring thaw!
Simply get the right attitude and be prepared to eat a little slower. Take your time and enjoy every mouthful… you can avoid gaining weight – and even lose a few pounds this holiday season.
– Enjoy your meal and relax while eating. Do not rush. Let your brain catch up with your stomach… you may not be as hungry as you think! Our brains tend to take about 20 minutes to register that we are full. Try telling that to our stomachs!
– Chew – Chew – Chew… Savor every bite of your food. Avoid gulping it down like someone’s trying to steal if from you. There will be plenty to go around, and if not, there’s always dessert!
– Do not eat on the run. Sit down and enjoy your food, whether it is as in-depth as a full-course meal or as simple and quick as a cookie or two. Take your time, chew and just eat. Don’t drive, don’t talk on the phone, don’t have a race to see who can fit more cookies in his mouth. Savor every bite and relax.
– Take a break. Do something else once your meal is done and see how hungry for dessert you really are. Do not force in a piece of pie or cake just to “be polite”. Those calories won’t be thinking the same way as they cascade across your hips!
– Keep your hands out of the cookie jar unless you are sitting down casually with a glass of milk and only a few tasty treats.
– Drink more water. It may fill you up a little bit, but it also flushes out germs and keeps you healthier. Drink as much as you like, but try to maintain a habit. Your body will come to expect the extra hydration – which is also especially good for athletes who may have to compete in coming weeks.
– Don’t give in to the growl. Once in a while is OK, but teach your stomach some discipline. You eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and maybe a snack here or there. Never eat just because you are bored!
– When grabbing for seconds, go for something a bit healthier. If your choices are meat and buttery biscuits or steamed broccoli and wild rice, think about how the calories may affect your body and choose wisely. If you want, compromise and take a little bit of a few different things instead of loading up on one dish.
– Satisfy your sweet tooth with fresh fruit or a dish showcasing it. Smoothies, fruit cocktail and fruit salad are just a few ideal waist-busters.
– Share a dessert with someone instead of forcing the calories on yourself. You’ll still satisfy your sweet tooth while taking in fewer calories than you would solo.
– Ask for salad dressing on the side when eating in a restaurant. You’ll be able to pour it on the way you like instead of fishing your lettuce and carrots out of a drowning pool of Italian, Russian or whatever you select.
– Broth-based soups will generally have fewer calories than thicker, cream-based soups. Choose what you want with no regrets, but save yourself a few calories every now and again if you like chicken noodle soup, vegetable soup, or others.
– Lessen the number of cocktails or beers you pour for yourself. It is a known fact that heavy drinking will eventually cause weight gain.
– Try to avoid eating major meals two hours before you plan to go to bed and later. Chances are, your body will burn off most of the calories if you give it enough time… unless your gorge yourself, so try to plan your evening with meals in mind.
– Make a plan and stick to it! Once you make a commitment to yourself, don’t let the little devil on your left shoulder talk you out of it. No, one bite, one cookie, or one dish of ice cream won’t hurt… just this once. But listen every time your stomach growls and you might be kissing your new eating plan goodbye.
Carefully balance your eating habits with some discipline and healthier baking techniques. Add some exercise, fresh air, better sleeping habits and a more active lifestyle and you are well on your way to getting or maintaining that fabulous figure.
Remember that it isn’t a matter of what you eat, when you eat, how you eat, or how much you eat, but rather a combination of all of those. Make a goal for yourself and stick to that goal, so the calories don’t start sticking to your sides!
Check out some healthy cooking and baking tips to keep your routine on a roll.