If you’re like many others, Christmas is a time of unparalleled excess! It’s a time when you give in to the good feelings and just let loose with indulgences. Congratulations, you deserve it! You deserve that one time of year when you do what feels right and completely comfortable to you.
Of course, high on your list of indulgences is, no doubt, edible treats. The cakes, drinks and savory dishes keep calling your name. And while it’s okay to answer, it’s important to set some limits so you don’t end up overindulging.
Try these behavior modifiers to help curb your gastronomic enthusiasm during the holiday season:
1. Drink water first.
One quick and easy tip for ensuring you avoid overindulging on Christmas treats is drinking a glass or two of water before you start munching. Science indicates that your brain doesn’t know the difference between the fullness created by water and that created by food.
- When you drink water, your brain and body think that you’ve started to fill up. And while that may be true, the feeling of fullness from water doesn’t last very long. So tackle the food while the feeling is at its peak.
- This approach allows you to fill up on calorie-free water to cut down the space left in your stomach for actual food.
- Plus, your body needs this extra hydration when you’re eating calorie-rich foods!
2. Take small portions.
Remember that your body is like a machine that goes through processes on a consistent basis. It needs time to digest what you’ve put into it.
- When at the Christmas office party or your family dinner, take small portions each time so your body gets a chance to break down what you eat.
- Having smaller portions at each sitting allows you to maintain your energy level instead of feeling bogged down by the weight of a hefty meal in your stomach.
3. Keep moving.
While you feast on the wonderfully tasty treats from your Christmas eating exploits, make it a point to keep moving around so you’re not constantly sitting in front of a plate and devouring everything that’s on it.
- Walking around and talking with others around you while you munch serves as a distraction and can eventually lead to you feeling full quicker than you normally do.
- Moving while eating also helps maintain a healthy metabolism so food consumed can be easily digested.
- Pay keen attention to what parts of your body other than your mouth are doing while you’re eating. That way, you can shift focus to other things and cut your interest in food.
4. Stick to your workout schedule.
If you want to be able to eat like there’s no tomorrow, find time to exercise so what you eat doesn’t get the chance to negatively impact things like cholesterol, heart functioning, and body fat.
By all means, you should enjoy all that Christmas has to offer, including the food! Just ensure to maintain a balanced lifestyle so there will be no regrets when you look in the mirror at the start of the New Year!
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because the overweight and obesity epidemic is at an all-time high! We are a fat society and it’s killing us prematurely. Not only do I truly believe that you have the power to lose weight to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of obesity so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some of your chronic diseases. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy.
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices):
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Here are some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling:
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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