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The holidays have come and gone!

You’re ready to kick off the New Year with a fresh start, only you may be left with a little holiday bulge. No need to panic, though. Check out these 10 simple ways to help you shed that holiday weight for the new semester.

Holiday Weight Loss

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1. Set Realistic Goals

20 pounds in two weeks? Really? Let’s be real, people. Unless you’re trying not to eat period, one to two pounds a week is a good start. Remember that anything worth working for takes time and patience

2. Drink Plenty of Water

Ever heard of drinking eight glasses of water a day? Not only is this healthy for you, but drinking plenty of water can substitute eating.

Next time you feel like snacking, just grab a glass water. It’ll help you feel less hungry and more full.

When you eat meals, take breaks in between bites and drink a gulp of water; not only will it help you to digest your food, but you will feel fuller, faster and thus, eat less food.

3. Eat More

Sounds a little crazy? It’s really not. Rather than eating three massive meals a day, try eating 5 light meals a day. It’ll curb your appetite and speed your metabolism since digesting your food burns calories, anyway.

When you eat smaller meals throughout the day, it will help to curb your hunger and keep your from gorging yourself. Eating several small meals or healthy snacks will keep you feeling fuller longer so by the time dinner or lunch rolls around you aren’t starving for a cheeseburger.

4. Use Salsa or Mustard, NOT Mayonaise

This is an interesting one, but it makes perfect sense. Rather than using condiments like mayonnaise, use salsa or mustard. Use it for you veggie burger or when you’re cooking fish or chicken. You’ll have all the delicious flavor you’re looking for without the fat.

5. Set Weekly Resolutions

Set a specific resolution every week rather than changing it up everyday. For instance, you can try eating a stick of carrot or an apple everyday for a week.

You can even set a running limit each week extending the distance you run.

6. Leave Notes For Yourself

If no one is going to encourage you, why not encourage yourself? Also, leaving notes in places where you keep your cookies and ice-cream can remind you of the consequences of eating junk food.

7. Measure Properly

Measuring utensils are made for a reason. Use them to portion your meals properly rather than second guessing yourself.

8. Substituting the Smart Way

Substituting doesn’t mean ditching everything you enjoy for a celery stick. There’re yummy substitutions out there:

Try dipping strawberries in fat-free fudge. Craving a bowl of popcorn to watch your favorite movie? Pop air-popped popcorn rather than oil-popped.

9. Break Time!

No one’s perfect. You may slip up by having a few beers on the weekend and a fat slice of chocolate cake. No biggie. Just start anew the next day. Motivate yourself to back on track.

If you are exercising and eating healthy during the week, there is no reason why you can’t treat yourself once or twice a week; you will be much less likely to binge and you will be more satisfied with your diet.

10. Take A Chill Pill.

No, not literally. It just means that you should just relax a bit and try not to stress over matters that are beyond your control. People tend to turn to comfort foods when they become stressed out, depressed or overwhelmed.

As mentioned before, anything worth working for takes time and patience. Results aren’t going to magically appear overnight, but they will follow gradually.

Exercise, eat healthy and start year off right!

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