Most of us gain weight after festive holidays, this is because there is so much to eat. A bite of a mince pie here, an extra helping of pudding there, it all seems so innocent at the time. But as the calorific Christmas extravaganza continues apace, it might be worth bearing in mind that any extra helpings could still be clinging to your thighs and tummy in March. That extra pounds we pile on over the festive period will take a depressing three months to shift. The following tips will help you to speed up the process.
1. Drink Water.
People often mistake thirst for hunger, so next time you feel like noshing, reach for water first. Drinking also helps you feel full. Some experts suggest sipping water just before you sit down to a meal. Continue drinking as you eat to add volume and weight to your meal.
2. Eat More Often.
People who have kept their weight off for more than a few years tend to eat an average of five times a day. Light, frequent meals curb your appetite, boost your energy, improve your mood and even speed your metabolism, since the process of digestion itself burns calories..
3. Count To 10.
The average craving lasts only about 10 minutes. So before caving in to your urge, set your mental timer for a 10-minute time-out. Use the time to tackle an item on your to-do list; choose one that will give you a sense of accomplishment and get you out of the kitchen.
4. Make Weekly Resolutions.
Don’t try to overhaul your diet overnight. If you make too many changes at once, chances are you’ll get frustrated and throw in the towel. Instead, make one change, such as eating at least one piece of fruit daily, every week.
5. Take One-Third Off.
When you eat dinner out, reduce the temptation to clean your plate by setting aside one-third of your meal. Ask the server for a doggie bag, and take it home for lunch the next day. Try serving yourself one-third less at home too. This simple tactic could subtract more than 500 calories a day.
6. Go Easy On The Alcohol.
Remember that alcohol is a source of calories. A margarita packs a bigger caloric punch. Even worse offenders are creamy cocktails, such as brandy alexanders and mudslides equivalent to drinking a rich dessert. The bottom line: If you’re trying to lose weight, stick with water.
7. Don’t Just Eat — Dine.
Eating on the run or in front of the tube invites mindless munching. Instead, set the table every time you eat. Make a conscious choice to sit down and savor every bite. Placing a portion of chips on your best china helps focus your attention so you don’t eat the whole bag.
8. Spike Your Meals With Salsa.
This spicy condiment can stand in for mayo to deliver plenty of flavor without the fat. Mix it with a bit of low-fat yogurt to make tuna salad. Spread it on a veggie burger, or serve it with chicken or fish.
Some people binge when they’re stressed. Women who secreted the most cortisol (a hormone released during stress) ate the most high-fat food after stress. The combination of cortisol and insulin prompts the body to store fat in preparation for possible starvation just what you don’t need. If stress has a stronghold on your life, try learning yoga, meditation, or simple breathing exercises.
10. Write Notes To Yourself.
To help you stay on track, post notes to yourself on the fridge and the pantry. Put up a little stop sign or make tags with questions like “Do you want this food enough to wear it?” and “Are the calories worth the consequences?”