HOW TO STAY ON TRACK THIS SEASON
Even if you have superhuman willpower, the upcoming Christmas season is challenging for everyone. Trying to stay on track can be overwhelming, but, as we all know, excess pounds don’t disappear along with the decorations! And anyway, who wants to start the new year seven pounds heavier than they want to be. There’s really no reason to, as you can have fun without throwing away your healthy habits.
Start your day with a bang – exercising in the morning can help ensure better behaviour all day long, according to a study. Using brain scans, researchers found that when women worked out in the morning, they not only moved more the rest of the day, but they also responded less to pictures of tempting food compared with the days they didn’t do a morning workout.
Weigh yourself twice a week – this is often enough to make sure you stay on track, but not so often that you take all the fun out of enjoying yourself, Step on the scale first thing in the morning when your stomach is empty.
Be choosy – check the buffet thoroughly before you load your plate to avoid foods you don’t really want. If, for example, if you can take or leave sausages but adore mini burgers, don’t start with the hotdogs hoping to be able to resist the two-bite burger. If you pick the stuff you really want and have it in moderation, you’ll stave off those cravings that can get you in trouble later on.
Just say no – willpower is like a muscle: Work it and you get stronger. The key is to practice keeping yourself in check in non-food situations, too. Whether you’re driving in rush hour traffic or dealing with a rude customer, there are many challenges that require self-control. Succeed in not gesturing at that rude driver and you’ll be better able to resist dessert at the party.
Steer clear of banking calories – cutting back all day so you can indulge at an event that night only sets you up for a pig-out. Why? Because you’re starving! It’s easy to get out of control when you’re faced with high-calorie choices. Be sure to eat three square meals and a couple of snacks during the day. Aim for lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean protein.
Compress your workouts – if you can’t get to your favourite spin class or find time for the treadmill just 15 minutes can help you maintain your fitness level. For example, skipping for 15 minutes torches about 190 calories; and just 30 minutes of dancing in the kitchen can burn the same amount.
Get plenty of potassium – the nutrient counterbalances sodium, so you retain less water. Find your favourite potassium food and stock up: take your pick from bananas, papayas, kiwis, strawberries, and cantaloupe melon.