The holiday season can be a challenging time for weight-watchers, with tempting choices lurking around the corner that ultimately add up by the New Year. Jennifer Chalouhi, brand ambassador of TIMA Love Life, Personal Trainer and Mother of 3, shares some top healthy tips to help you avoid all those endless temptations and unwanted weight gain during the holidays.
Be sure to get plenty of rest and sleep.
The number one culprit during the holidays is staying up late and not getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep nightly. When your body is depleted and running low on energy, your muscles lack recovery and the first thing most people crave is food. Making the right choices for nutritious and healthy food is extremely difficult when we are tired and sleep is your best weapon against this.
Eat every 3 to 4 hours.
If you think skipping meals and saving yourself for the one big meal at that holiday party will help, it will actually do the opposite. It may result in you overloading on unnecessary calories and might put you in a ‘food coma’ where you will feel bloated from having over eaten. It is also best to keep your insulin levels stable and eat every 3 to 4 hours with healthy breakfast options such as a fruit smoothie, oatmeal topped with fruits or scrambled eggs with toast. The best snacks in-between your meals would also include a handful of almonds, an apple, veggie stick or a 1/2 cup of yogurt.
Never arrive to a party hungry.
Come 6pm you’re probably thinking that with dinner being at 8pm you’ll be fine to wait. Think again. The last thing you want is to arrive to a holiday party super hungry. First, make sure you’ve been drinking plenty of water during the day. Have a light snack before arriving to your lunch or dinner engagement and aim to stay near the veggies rather than cave into chips or snacks with high calories.
Watch your portions
If you are arriving to a buffet style lunch or dinner, aim to fill your plate once with everything you want. Eat slowly and stick to that portion rather than going for a second round. This also goes for dessert. I’m always up for moderation. If you are eyeing that one dessert you can’t wait to dig into, stick to that one dessert and enjoy it!
“If you’re going to commit the crime, make sure you do the time.”
I always say this to my clients and of course I mean it in a funny way, if you know your holiday plans ahead of time make sure to get that extra bit of cardio in or choose a workout that you enjoy and stick to it. Putting exercise on the back burner during the holidays is something most people actually do. When people are on holiday they usually let go, but added calories will creep in if you keep eating fatty foods and if you are inactive most of the time. Our bodies need to constantly move in order to burn any extra calories we may be consuming during the holidays. Let’s be real, the holidays are a time to celebrate and enjoy being with loved ones and what better way to celebrate than with food. But you don’t have to allow food to set you back 5 or 10 kgs, rather beat those unwanted holiday weight gains and include a daily workout plan whether its jogging, yoga, zumba, a workout from home or running around after your kids. Just make sure to stay active.
Happy Holidays from TIMA Love Life!