By Belinda Johnson
Trying to lose weight? Then, it’s time to step out of the norm, especially now. When it comes to the winter holidays, the last thing that you want to be is “average”. Why? The average adult gain between 7 and 10 pounds from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
You don’t need 10 extra pounds
If you’re in your 40s, you may already know how hard it can be to lose weight, even as little as 7 pounds. Fortunately, there are steps that you can start taking now to keep your weight loss program on track. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own self-developed weight loss program or a plan that a dietician outlined.
At the top of the list is – drink plenty of fresh, clean water in place of alcoholic beverages, sodas and juices. Drop a lemon in the water for added flavor. Fresh mint leaves and berries also jazz up water. Drinking fresh water is a good way to flush your system and lose weight. Drinking fresh water also helps you to feel full which could help you to eat healthier and smaller portioned snacks and meals. Cold water has been reported to rev up the human metabolism.
Walk, ride a bike, get in some stair stepping or go for a swim or jog. Swim, you ask? If you’re visiting family or friends during Thanksgiving and you’re staying at a hotel, it may be easy to get in several laps at the swimming pool. You could also go for a walk around the neighborhood, visit an area gym or go hiking with relatives or friends. Just make sure that you exercise twice a day, if your health is up for it.
Do your heart a favor
Exercise to raise your heart rate and break a sweat in the morning and in the evening, after you have eaten. Wait about an hour after you’ve eaten a heavy meal to start exercising. Sweating is often a sign that you’re body is being pushed enough to lose weight if you stay the course.
Pay attention to what you are eating and how large the portions are. One thing about Thanksgiving and other winter holidays is how easy it is to get caught up in conversations, see everyone else eating and snacking and drinking and forgetting how much you are taking in.
Talking and reminiscing with family, friends, neighbors and colleagues is also a time when it’s easy to be less aware of the taste and texture of food. To really enjoy food you eat on Thanksgiving, practice awareness and enjoy the scents and texture of the food.
Use a smaller plate. Even if you go back for seconds, when you serve yourself healthy portions on a smaller plate, you still may not eat as much as you would have had you gotten a large plate.
Listen to your body to lose weight
Listen to your body. If you’ve been on track (committed and focused) to lose weight for several weeks or months, you know when you’re receiving a signal from your body. When your stomach, or your lower back, start to feel uncomfortable, it may be time to push away from the table or get involved in a fun activity or conversation that doesn’t involve food.
Maintain your regular routine of weighing yourself daily, if that’s a part of the regular routine that you follow to lose weight. You could wait until January 1, 2016 to step up on the scale, but, by not waiting until the new year, you could put off surprises.
There are so many things to celebrate and appreciate during Thanksgiving, Christmas and other winter holidays and the new year. It truly is a time of wonder. A spirit of appreciation lingers in the air. It’s contagious. And the new year is right around the corner, infusing folks with hope and possibility.
This year celebrate Thanksgiving so that what you remember most are the lively, engaging conversations that you shared with loved ones and the fun that you had recalling happy experiences. Make the time that you spend with family, friends, neighbors and colleagues top priority. Enjoy adding a spark to those relationships in a way that helps you to lose weight while having loads of fun. Happy Holidays