Ahhh, the holiday time! Where the leaves turn yellow and burgundy and gently float down to the ground like weightless feathers. If at least most of us survive through this time of the year without putting on "too much" weight...

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Well, this year we are shedding light on tips you can utilize when you are at holiday gatherings, and hopefully in turn we will help you shed some stress and worries!

1. Get your heart pumping before sitting down for that meal - Get a workout in, even if it's only 10 minutes. But make it worth your while. "During an acute bout of exercise, the increased need for metabolic fuel is met by increases in both carbohydrate and fat utilization in the skeletal muscle. Glucose is taken up from blood into the working skeletal muscles." (from humankinetics.com) This translate into the body having better regulation of the energy consumed during that feast and less going into storage VS sub-optimal regulation and directly into storage as fat. 

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Sample workout (no equipment needed) 

  • Jumping jacks x 30 reps
  • Push ups x 20 reps
  • Mountain Climbers x 30 reps
  • Squats x 20 reps
  • Jumping jacks x 30 reps
  • Plank x 30 seconds
  • Mountain Climbers x 30 reps
  • Perform all of the above without rest in between exercises, then rest for 15 to 30 seconds then perform the whole circuit one to two more times

2. Eat slowly during your meal - when you eat slowly you give your body time to register the amount of food you have ingested. It takes time for the brain to receive hormonal signals from your stomach so if you are a fast eater, by the time your brain says "STOP, you are full" you have already over indulged. The unused calories then gets stored as fat. Set down your fork in between bites, enjoy several conversations while you are eating are all good ways to help you eat slowly. 

3. Stop when you are 80% full - this one will require you to recruit tip number 2, eating slowly. Without eating mindfully and slowly, you will not be able to know when is 80% full. This tip may require some practice as most of us in the western culture have forgotten how to gauge our fullness when it comes to eating. If you don't feel satiated after a while, then you can eat a little bit more.  

4. Go for a light to moderate walk for 20 to 30 minute after your meal - this aids in digestions and will help kicking up your metabolism. 

5. Be prepared, both mind and body- often times we are used to the idea of "it's the holidays so it's normal for me to eat a lot and gain some weight". But is it really "normal"? Prepare your mindset and remember that you can always save something you enjoyed eating for later or politely ask for a to-go portion. If you are really worried about what foods are going to be provided at the gatherings, it's a good idea to have a healthy pre-party meal or snack so you are less likely to fill up on sugars. Remember, what your body doesn't use, it ends up getting stored as fat. 

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We hope this helps a bit whether we attend or prepare for holiday parties. This is a beautiful time to come together to celebrate and be grateful of what we have, stressing about how we are going to survive the holiday times really defeat its purpose! Enjoy and please feel free to reach out if we can help you! 

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