There is still time to lose weight for Christmas and slip into those old jeansx or that dress you wore a half-decade ago. Here are some great tips to lose a stone in 4 weeks
1. Stay active with family and friends
One of the most common holiday traditions for most families is participating in sedentary activities such as sitting on the couch watching TV. Most people don’t realize that being inactive for extended periods can lead to weight gain, especially if combined with overeating.
Engaging in some kind of physical activity with your loved ones can be beneficial in controlling weight. Something as small as taking a short walk with your family can help take your mind off food and allows you to spend some quality time with your family.
Another great way of keeping active during the holidays is by signing up for a community fitness event. You can consider racing events.
2. Minimize snacking
There are usually plenty of snacks to go around during the holiday seasons. However, most of these snacks, such as cookies and other goodies, tend to be very unhealthy.
With these sweet treats being available for you to take as you please, it can be easy for one to snack unnecessarily.
You can mitigate this problem at home by keeping the snacks hidden. But this can be difficult in certain situations, such as at your workplace or a family party.
Try to control your snacking. In case you find yourself munching on the snacks just because they are available and not because you are hungry, maybe avoid snacking entirely.
But if you feel hungry and are tempted to eat a snack, consider going for real foods. Organic foods such as nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables can serve as suitable snacks as they help make you feel fuller faster and don’t contain any unhealthy fats or added sugars that contribute to weight gain.
3. Curb your portion sizes
People tend to overfill their plates during the holiday season.
When you consume larger portions, it can be very easy to gain extra weight.
To avoid this, you need to regulate portion sizes or utilize smaller-sized plates.
To figure out the perfect portion size, check the food labels and the suggested serving sizes as listed on recipes. Or just use your best judgment to fill your plate reasonably.
4. Pay attention to your eating
Thanks to all the responsibilities and activities brought about by the holiday season, people often end up multitasking during meals. According to research, distracted eating can promote overeating. This is due to the fact that people who eat while distracted are unlikely to notice their body’s fullness signals.
To avoid this, practice mindful eating and reduce distractions, including work and electronic devices. Try chewing slowly and thoroughly, as this will help you to better identify your body’s fullness signals and eat fewer calories. It is also beneficial to take some deep breaths before you begin eating as this helps to promote relaxation and allows you to pay attention to your food instead of your to-do list.
Numerous studies have shown that people who practice mindful eating have a lower probability of gaining weight.
5. Get enough sleep
Sleep deprivation has been found to play a role in weight gain.
This is mainly due to the fact that people who sleep less and are awake most of the time tend to be hungrier, have a higher calorie, and don’t exercise enough.
The restriction of sleep can elevate your hunger hormone levels, thus leading to higher calorie consumption.
What’s more, the lack of enough sleep is associated with a slower metabolism. This can be attributed to alterations in the circadian rhythm – a “biological clock” responsible for regulating most of the bodily function.
6. Regulate your stress levels
It goes without saying that the holidays can be a rather stressful time.
Stress is usually associated with high cortisol levels, a hormone that is normally released as the body’s natural response to stress. Unusually high levels of cortisol can lead to weight gain, as they can cause increased food consumption.
In addition, stressed individuals tend to have more cravings for junk food.
With this in mind, it is crucial that you keep your stress levels in check, particularly during the holidays when there is plenty of work and unhealthy food available.
There are many things you can do to reduce your stress levels, including meditation, yoga, exercise, and deep breathing.
7. Keep meals balanced with protein
Most holiday dishes are normally rich in carbs and low in protein.
But it is crucial that you incorporate proteins into every meal. This is due to the fact that proteins help to induce fullness and can be beneficial in maintaining weight.
Studies have shown that the consumption of proteins with meals helps to minimize calorie intake by reducing your hunger and appetite.
Additionally, proteins help to increase metabolism and the levels of appetite-inhibiting hormones – both of which help in regulating weight.
To gain these weight control benefits, consider including at least 1 ounce (25-30 grams) of protein in every meal.
Poultry, meat, fish, and certain plant foods such as quinoa and beans are excellent sources of protein.