Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year! From the delicious homemade desserts to the warming holiday beverages and even some of those crazy, odd breakfasts that my in-laws love, it’s a time of year for food-lovers like me. It’s a time to get fat, so let’s get fat together!
Or not. Like most, I’m trying to shed pounds this Christmas. I’ve got a weight goal, and I’ve been working towards it for the last few months. If this Christmas goes like all the others, it’s going to negate all the effort I’ve invested in my body since the end of summer.
Here’s how I plan to get in shape for my Christmas feasts:
That’s right, I’m increasing the amount of exercise I’m doing starting now. I’ll only add about 30 minutes of workout to my daily routine, but I’ll also start finding ways to do more exercise in little ways. I’ll do a few minutes of stretching and calisthenics at my hourly work break, and I’ll walk to the nearby supermarket and back rather than driving. If I start now, I’ll be a few pounds ahead when Christmas rolls around!
We all have to set a budget for the Christmas shopping, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m referring to budgeting my daily calorie allowance. I’m going to reduce the amount that I eat early in the day so that I can enjoy my calories later in the day – such as during the evening office Christmas party. It will make it easier for me to stick within the allowance of calories I can eat every day, all while still eating those Christmas foods I love.
Keep the Diet Course Steady
Yes, Christmas time is a time of feasting, but who says that you have to stuff yourself? I have a hard time saying “No” to a second helping of turkey, but I guess I’ll have to cut back on the mashed potatoes if I want to eat more meat. Don’t starve yourself for the weeks, days, or hours leading up to Christmas dinner, but keep your diet consistent. It will make it easier for you to have that discipline to say “No” to something you shouldn’t be eating on the big day.
Watch What You Put in Your Mouth
Experts agree: mindful eating is the key to a healthy diet. If you’re eating while watching TV, reading a book, or doing things that take your mind off your food, you’ll end up eating more – it has been proven. It’s essential that you keep a close eye on what you’re eating, and take the time to measure each portion of Christmas dinner that you’re serving. It may make your dinner a bit stressful, but it’s the only way you can keep up with the progress you’ve made over the last few months.
Take a Nap
This may sound silly, but taking a short nap after that hefty Christmas meal could be the best way to enjoy your evening. If you eat dinner in the early afternoon, lay down to rest for an hour or so. The tryptophan in the turkey will make you sleepy, and it will take a couple of hours for your food to digest anyways. With a short nap, you’ll be less stuffed and ready for an evening of active fun – think Charades, Pictionary, and other fun family games that keep you moving.
Control, But Don’t Obsess
You don’t need to ration your Christmas dinner like it’s the last meal you’ll ever eat, but you do need to control your food intake. Make sure to watch what you’re eating, and only eat a bit more than you know you should. Obsessing over calories can make your meals pretty stressful, so just keep an eye on your meal. If you’re overdoing it, stop eating – or have a helping of salad. As long as you keep it under control, you’ve got nothing to worry about!