The holiday season is officially here and so are the delicious dishes. It’s hard to resist the festive season and the guilty pleasures served at the table. So while you munch happily on that baked sugar machine, let us give you some points on how to reverse holiday weight gain fast, easy, and healthily.
Compulsive eating isn’t new to me. I’ve been doing it for a long time, especially during Christmases and New Year’s Eve when everything you craved for is right there in front of you. Many folks out there are guilty about this too which is why losing weight is the leading New Year’s resolution.
But after the holiday dust has settled, dishes washed, and the family has gone back to their typical course of life, we’re faced with a bigger dilemma: additional pounds.
First of all, if you want to avoid the additional weight, make sure that you put your foot at the brakes a little bit. You don’t have to starve yourself and resist all offered toasts. All you have to do is to eat with moderation. If you can devour one large plate of pesto, try cutting it by half this time.
Your holiday in calories
If you’re looking for a good reason to cut back on your eating this season, let us give you a look on your usual favorites and how many calories it has. To warn you, some of these are insanely high in calories than what you actually think:
➕Standard Pecan pie. If you’re trying to justify that Pecan pie is still great because of the healthy nuts, you might change your mind after this. Every 1/8 slice of this pie is equivalent to 503 calories. Yes, you read that right. Pecan pie is packed with sugar, butter, and tons of molasses. The nuts aren’t enough to offset these guilty ingredients. And boy, that calorie count is colossal.
➕Sweet Potato Casserole. It’s just potatoes, what could go wrong? My friend, every 200 grams of this delicious dish has 400 calories. To burn that, you’ll have to spend an hour in an indoor spin. Remember that this is just one of the goodies you’re going to devour during the Christmas feast.
➕Turkey leg. The holidays wouldn’t be complete without roasted turkey. But as much as the thighs are juicy and flavorful, it also has 334 calories. Well, the protein content might be a good reason to eat this, but your turkey will surely be covered with your homemade gravy.
➕Homemade turkey gravy. If you’re also like me who considers gravy as a form of soup, we probably need to focus on this part. Homemade gravy is usually the concoction of the fattiest parts of meat laced with lots of oil, butter, and some herbs. Although the herbs can be a good thing, the fat content is just unforgivable.
➕Wine. Oh yes, the night wouldn’t be complete without sipping that wine you stored on your fridge for months now. Let me tell you that a glass of wine a day is good for your health, but if you’re using it to survive your nephew’s endless whining, you’re doomed. Each 10 fl. oz. of wine has 240+ calories. That makes an entire bottle roughly 500 calories, not to mention the food you’re chewing in between sips. This isn’t the best way on how to reverse holiday weight gain.
➕Starbucks mocha drinks. For sure, you’re hanging out with friends during this season and you’ll probably grab some coffee along the way. A 20 oz. venti cup of Starbucks peppermint mocha drink has more calories than a slice of Pecan pie. Yes, that’s how vicious this is in terms of calorie count – around 540 calories overall.
These are just some of the staples you’ll probably have this season. I know that for someone who’s trying to lose weight, Christmas and New Year’s Eve is both a curse and a blessing. But if those pounds are already piling up there, here are some of the steps you can take after the holidays.
Purge your fridge
After the festivities are over, don’t cling to your leftovers. Give it out to relatives and neighbors so you wouldn’t be tempted to binge eat whenever you have the time. As someone who’s working at home, opening the fridge is a test whether I should finish that last flan. It’s not healthy and I’d likely end up eating it anyway.
With that, I suggest packing your fridge with healthy snacks. Prepare healthy meals so you wouldn’t be tempted to go off the weight loss plan. If you’re serious about losing the holiday pounds, the first move is to get rid of the food that caused it in the first place.
Experts found that the food in line with your sight is the likely option you’ll pick. So if we switch the flan with something healthier, say kale chips, we can trick my appetite into liking it.
Get rid of bloat
Most of the weight you’ll put on during the holidays will be bloat. The combination of high sodium, sugar, and liquid calories all make water retention peak. You’ll think that you have additional belly fat but the good news here is you can flush all these unwanted substances off your body.
Drinking lots of water is the easiest way to flush out the solid and liquid wastes stuck in your gut. Forget about detox teas and juices. These are also packed with sugars and diuretic substances that dehydrate your body.
What you need here are water and fiber. This way, you won’t interpret the feeling of false hunger as a signal to eat. Also, water speeds up your metabolism by up to 30% if you drink at least 17 ounces. Stick to 8 glasses per day to keep hydrated without flushing out a lot of electrolytes off your body.
Start drinking clean
“I’ll just compensate this can of soda with more water.” A lot of us are guilty with this mindset and I admit that I also used this rationale to get away with sugary and alcoholic drinks. But if you’re serious with weight loss, I’m a living proof that sticking to this mindset won’t do you any good.
Don’t feel obliged to finish that bottle of wine or to down that canned beer. Give it away or drain it on the sink if need be. As much as you’re looking for a sip to warm you up, alcohol isn’t the answer. Opt for a cup of hot tea. Aside from being warm, it’s also packed with catechins that serve as antioxidants to the body. Dieticians have proven that cutting your alcohol intake is an easy way on how to reverse holiday weight gain.
Reduce gadget time
I know that there are lots of holiday pictures you need to share or like, but after the rush of festivities, give your mobile gadgets a rest. Technology overload can make you feel stressed than ever. Yes, you don’t get to join your best friend Jenny at the beach, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to dwell on it for the whole day. Don’t look at the pictures and give your body the time to rest.
After preparing food, entertaining guests, and eating, your system will be exhausted. An hour or two without using your phone during the day will help you a lot. Aside from the emotional stress, using your phone prevents you from moving. And since we’re talking about losing weight here, we want to get as much exercise as we could.
Eat the right food
Just because you gained some pounds over the holiday doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself just to shed it off. You can still eat enough without compromising your calorie count. Pick healthier options and watch out the ingredients.
Fiber-rich food items are great since these keep you full for long without too many calories. However, stay away from bloat and gas-inducing options like broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
It’s also recommendable to eat more clean protein, not the one packed with sodium and processed substances. Steamed chicken with a dash of olive oil and herbs would be perfect here.
By the way, watch out the fruits you choose to eat. Some sweet fruits, no matter how organic they are, are still rich in sugars.
The key here is to eat enough with low calories without cutting back on your nutrition.
Come up with a HIIT home routine
If you want to speed up your weight loss, you should allot time to pump up your heart rate. A high-intensity interval training routine would be excellent. You can do this at the gym or in the comforts of your home.
A 25-minute HIIT routine can burn you as much as 500 calories. Remember, you need intensity and not long durations. You can perform a minute and a half of each of these routines: pendulums, burpees, squat jumps, bicep curls, and so on.
Repeat all the routines you choose three times in between 1-2 minutes of rest. The rest period will allow your body to recuperate and the fat burns to take place.
This routine by Joe Wick is the one I personally use on how to reverse holiday weight gain. Feel free to try it too. It’s easy and you don’t need any equipment just to have a decent workout:
Shovel the snow
If you get bored easily and you have chores to do, the HIIT routine may not always be convenient. Here’s a smart suggestion from me: help shovel the snow. Anything that will keep you moving is a precious routine. I know that removing the snow on the driveway is something everyone hates, but for you, this might come as a handy weight loss tool.
If you’re not buying it, let me tell you that shoveling the snow can burn you up to 500 calories. Take it from me, my friend. It’s not easy to shovel snow but it pays in the fat department. Just make sure that you use an ergonomic shovel so your limbs and back won’t cramp easily.
Like HIIT routines, take short breaks in between. Going full force will just hurt your muscles.
Do a New Year’s clean up
After you’re done cleaning the snow, it’s time to do a cleanup. New year new look, as they say. Everyone will love you for it plus you get to help with the chores. I know that it’s tiring but it’s also a good way to reduce your fats. Don’t forget to drink lots of water as you clean so you get the sweat going.
Still, don’t go full force with it. I suggest that you break the tasks down in a list so you’ll have something to do over the days. It’s tempting to clean right away after the visitors departed. However, this will only make your body hurt at the end of the day.
Take one task at a time. For example, you can clean the living room during the first day then the bathroom on the next. You can do the attic, bedrooms, and other parts of the house later on. And one last reminder: you can always ask for help. Just because you want to lose weight doesn’t mean you’ll shoulder everything.
Dance, dance, dance
If there’s nothing to clean, you spend an hour dancing to some aerobic routines. This is one of the enjoying ways to lose weight. Just look up a video online and learn the steps. There are lots of routines that you can do without any equipment.
Two hours of dancing can tone your tummy and help you burn up to 650 calories. The more it makes you sweat, the better. With that, keep yourself hydrated every now and then so you can replace the lost fluids.
Knowing how to reverse holiday weight gain can be challenging. But if you know how to utilize available resources, you can start burning the flab as soon as you can.