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Family and Holiday Experts share 8 tips and tricks for staying in shape through the feasting season.
Written by Michelle Simmons Read More Button
Deck the halls with boughs of…food! No, wait, holly. All kidding aside, it's already November, which means that you're probably preparing for several feasts before the end of the year. This does not give you an excuse though to gain unwanted pounds. Here are eight expert-recommended tips and tricks to avoid the holiday weight gain.
1. Plan a mid-winter goal
Stay on track with your physical activity by setting plans on January. Joe Masiello, director of Focused Personal Training Institute in New York City, suggested that booking an event like running a 5K, bike race, or group workout class for January will help you stay motivated all the way through holiday season. Having a particular goal in mind will make it easier to get up and go to the gym.
2. Set a goal every month
Maximize the mild weather before winter comes in. Try to do as many physical activity as you can outdoors. Optimize your weight loss goal by joining a gym in the following months. The financial commitment will motivate you to go to the gym and workout instead of sitting on the couch and doing nothing.
3. Practice having short break workouts
Although the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily, Masiello said that it is not always necessary. He said that consistency is more necessary than time, so it is perfectly acceptable to have short bursts of exercise as long as it gets the blood flowing
4. Do the seven-minute workout
Researchers have created the seven-minute workout that is a combination of both aerobic and resistance exercises. The workout is composed of 12 exercises: jumping jacks, wall-sits, push-ups, crunches, step-ups into chair, triceps dips, planks, high knees running in place, lunges, push ups and rotation, and side planks. For seven minutes, each exercise must be done in 30 seconds with a 10-second break in between.
5. Be mindful of the amount of food you are getting
The feasting season will tempt you to eat more, but keep in mind that you are maintaining a healthy diet. Get a smaller plate during a feast, so that you will grab less food. Amy Shapiro, a nutritionist and owner of Real Nutrition NYC, suggested that half of the plate should be filled with vegetables, a quarter filled with protein, and the other quarter be filled with some holiday treats.
6. Avoid sugary drinks
Irina Popa, owner of NYC Health & Nutrition, said that sugary drinks like sodas and mixed cocktails have more calories than a small pastry or a square of chocolate. Have a glass of wine, a lighter beer, or a clean cocktail instead.
7. Have a protein snack beforehand
Eating a protein snack before a party or an event will make you feel fuller for longer because the body takes more time digesting protein. Prepare protein snacks such as Greek yogurt with fruit or hummus and vegetables so that you will feel more satisfied eating it.
8. Don't wear stretchy pants
Wearing something non-constricting or stretchy pants like yoga pants can make you eat more than what you would normally eat, according to Shapiro. Instead, wear jeans, pants, or skirt.
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