One of the key steps of keeping off the dreaded holiday weight gain is adjusting calories based on activity level; more often than not, the everyday routine we maintain throughout most of the year changes around the holidays. We tend to take time off around Christmas and New Year’s, and spend more time prioritizing time with family and friends. You may host a Holiday party of some sort, attend a party, go to fund raisers, or binge watch shows you’ve missed. Anytime you change up your regular routine, it will affect your metabolism, calorie expenditure and cause your weight to fluctuate.
You can use these 4 basic principles to help you not get caught off guard by your weight on January 2nd.
- if you find yourself working out less, eat less. Eating the same amount of food you consume during your regular routine, will not work if your activity level changes. Same goes for reverse scenario; if you find yourself taking advantage of the holidays and working out more, adjust your calorie total to accommodate.
- Another part of our routine that changes around the holidays is dessert and sweet consumption. If you do find that your activity level drops during this season, try not to consume as many simple carbs like pies, cakes, breads, or even sugary drinks. Simple carbs and sugar quickly get transformed into body fat if they aren’t used to replace glycogen stores used for a workout, or burned off as energy soon after you consume them. If you do find yourself struggling to resist these things, cut the portions down in size. Just tell yourself that you’re going to cut any treat you allow yourself to have in half. Quantity of food plays almost as big of a role as quality of food.
- be mindful of snacking: if you’re one of those people that traditionally eats 3 meals a day with little to no snacking, be aware that grabbing extra sausage and cheese, or chips and dip, will add up in calories consumed. Keep track of your snacking and adjust your main meals accordingly.
- Don’t eat too late in the evening. If you find yourself staying up playing games with friends, or catching up on those shows your missed, try not to eat those simple carbs or sugars late at night. Remember...if your body doesn’t have the opportunity to burn them off, they will quickly become unwanted body fat.