It’s that time of year again, when the food is bountiful and the portions double. Every where you go, there will be food. And with the fountains of gravy and the oceans of hot cocoa, the pounds are waiting pounce on you and the sugar seems to stalk your every move. It’s impossible not to gain weight this season, right? Wrong, there are a myriad of ways to control the seasonal plumpness, and the WellAway team has a few tips.
Tip 1: Try a New Year’s “Pre-Solution.”
Forget New Year’s resolutions, how about a New Year’s “Pre-solution.” Instead of making a half-hearted promise to give up a delicious best friend for all of 2018, try holding off on something between now and January 1st. Pro athletes such as marathon runners are successful because they set small goals, day by day, one after another, rather than an over ambitious long-term goal. So, this year, choose something such as soda or chocolate to put aside just a couple weeks before 2018 comes through. These small victories add up!
Tip 2: It’s all about the water!
H2o, ho, ho! We find ourselves back to the basics, water. Water detoxifies the body, helps with the metabolism and most importantly, a glass before any meal will decrease the likelihood of over eating. Fill up on water before you fill up on turkey of ham!
Tip 3: Beware of the sugar drinks.
Take it easy on the booze, and be picky. This is one of the few times a year that the adult beverages are infused with extra creamy carbohydrates. Instead of a cup of eggnog, try and sip on some light wine. If you could avoid drinking before any meal, even better! Alcohol effects judgement and increases hunger, a disastrous duo for your holiday fitness goals.
Tip 4: Plan to be active.
Plan your physical activities beforehand and commit to them, especially if you are traveling. Any exercise not only burns that extra caloric intake, it reduces stress and tension and we all have that family member who has married stress and tension and brings them to every event. Call your family ahead to see if you could all do some physical activities together or wake up a bit earlier than the crowd to get some walking or jogging in every morning.
Tip 5: Defeat the monster portion!
Watch your portions and never arrive on an empty stomach. There is no need to skip the delicious festive delicacies one is bound to encounter, but keep the amount in check. Try to always serve your own plate and whatever everyone is getting, put half that amount on your plate. Will you still be hungry? Not if you take your time chewing and eating. The stomach takes 15-20 minutes to tell your brain that it is full, whether you devour a pig in those 20 minutes or have a salad, the result will be the same. With that said, put something healthy in you before you head out to a party to hold the hunger at bay.
Tip 6: For endurance, have insurance.
Besides the fact expatriates and travelers should be ready to deal with the unexpected, be it a routine consultation or a trip to the E.R., no matter where you are, security is golden. Not having a plan, a backup, a team on your side causes anxiety which translates to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. And on a smaller scale, overeating. During a season of superfluous snacks and bloated meals, emotional consumption can be disastrous. Simply put, security and protection puts your mind at ease, and if you plan to be outside exercising and doing physical activities (and you should, see tip 4), you have to be ready for anything. Make sure to check up on your WellAway coverage.
And most importantly of all, enjoy yourself! It is still okay to indulge once or twice. Don’t feel demotivated if you miss one or two days of exercise either. We wish you a joyous and prosperous new year. Happy holidays!
-Armando A. Diaz, Writer