How to keep your waistline in check over the holidays

Header image for the article How to keep your waistline in check over the holidays
One of the truest idioms I’ve heard in my life is that people gain weight over the holiday season. With the anticipation of holiday celebrations, many of us experience a high degree of stress over staying on top of our work responsibilities, ensuring we’re prepared for exams and hoping we haven’t overlooked anything. Couple those concerns with making sure you get the right gifts for the right people, your home is tidy and decorated with holiday cheer and hoping that you don’t miss anyone on your holiday list to visit.

With all that go-go-go, we can find ourselves snacking on the run. Often those things are potentially higher in fat and sugars than the regular foods we consume. Now marry our eating habits out of stress with the eating habits we take on during the holidays. Holiday parties abound, familial and friend get-togethers, a dinner here, a dinner there, food everywhere.

It is a difficult thing to control oneself around a delicious array of food put on display, with the instruction to eat what you want. So rather than add further to your already stressful season, here are some recommendations as to how you can enjoy all you eat during your holidays without bursting at the seams.

Navigator. Londons student lifestyles magazine.

WORK FOR WHAT YOU EAT

Ever heard of a cheat day? It’s what people who are disciplined with nutrition and exercise refer to as a day in which all of their hard work is rewarded. On these days, individuals will abandon their stringent nutritional regiment and allow themselves to indulge in foods heavier in fats and sugars than their typical Monday through Saturday dietary plans.

Approach your holiday season with the same kind of mentality. If you know you have a big dinner or two coming up, with all of the devilishly rich and savoury food you adore, but are concerned that your waistline may burst, then condition yourself for the big event. On the days in which the dinner doesn’t fall, try to eat a little lighter or even healthier to offset the reckless abandon you intend to unleash the day of the dinner. It may shrink your stomach a bit, thus minimizing your capacity for total stomach expansion.

MAKE SURE TO STAY HYDRATED

Hydration is key to keeping our mental acuity sharp, but it is also a potent little helper when it comes to digestion. Staying properly hydrated helps the intestines to stay smooth and flexible, thus maintaining good digestion as well as helping to rid your body of waste. Now to be clear, the reference to hydration here is exclusively water.

When hydration is lacking the body reacts by hardening waste, making it much more difficult to pass through the body to be disposed of. So make sure you help to keep that train moving, and keep your station clear so that more trains can stay on schedule during your holiday season. If the process of drinking many glasses or bottles of water seems overwhelming, you can add some variety into how you consume it. Vegetables are high in water content, so indulging in these as an alternative to your eight glasses a day can be a good way to guarantee that you’re getting enough water.

STAY ON YOUR FEET OR GO FOR A WALK

Immobility is a huge contributor to the growing waistlines of the holiday season. Inactivity, especially after a large feeding, can slow down your metabolism’s ability to burn fat. Try staying on your feet, or after a time of letting your food digest, take a stroll around the block and burn some of those calories off.

Help out your host with the cleanup, or if you are the one hosting, get an early jump on it yourself. One of the most sought after experiences in my home is the ‘eat and lie down’ phenomenon which always makes an appearance. If keeping the lbs from spilling over my belt is my intention, I make sure not to answer the door when lethargy comes a knocking.

MODERATION

Moderation and balance are the keys to maintaining a relatively unchanging landscape. If food discipline isn’t a huge concern for you then you can always try the ever-satisfying approach of moderation. Instead of loading your plate up like a college student home for the first time in two months, try getting an appropriate serving that doesn’t generate food envy.

Try limiting your trips back to the buffet table as well. You know there will likely be dessert, as well as drinks, both of the alcoholic and non-alcoholic variety, that will be high in sugars that you will want to partake in later. With that knowledge in hand leave room for the good stuff so that you’re not trying to cram things where there is no more room to cram.