When the long, sunny summer days begin to fade into fall and winter, health and wellness seem to take a backseat for a lot of us. Of course, tempting desserts and entrees begin to hit the table for the fall and winter holidays, and many people forget about their workout regime and health goals in favor of comforting, warm foods and drinks. Studies have shown that holiday weight gain is a real issue and a big part of the growing obesity epidemic. Some people can gain as much as five pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to research by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). And losing that holiday weight is of course, a lot harder than gaining it.
As the days grow shorter and the temperatures start to plummet, staying under the cozy covers and watching Netflix seems far more enjoyable than having to brave the cold to get to the gym. However, skipped workouts and indulging in one too many holiday treats can lead to undoing all the hard work you’ve put in, as well as gaining unwanted weight.
If you want to still fit into your favorite pair of skinny jeans after the holidays have passed, here are 3 tips for you to stay healthy and fit during the winter months:
1. Track your calories
Sometimes, tracking how much food you eat can seem meticulous and time-consuming, but it will pay off in the long run. During the holidays, you will inevitably eat more food between work parties, family get-togethers, and more unhealthy snacks lying around the house. To make sure you don’t eat more than you burn, you can keep track of your calories using online counter such as Cronometer or other tools. If you’re serious about keeping up your health and staying on track, taking the time to log your calories each day can help you tremendously with your goals. Plus, it will open your eyes to just how many calories that eggnog has, and might encourage you to look for healthier alternatives in the future.
2. Pair an unhealthy snack with one or two healthy ones
Practicing moderation means to indulge in something you really enjoy without having to totally compromise your lifestyle. If your friend serves potato salad or mac & cheese at a party, put one scoop of that on your plate, along with a couple pieces of fruit or a handful of nuts or seeds. This way, you won’t feel totally left out from everyone at the party, but you also won’t be damaging your health or throwing away your workout and health routine.
3. Modify workouts to fit a new calorie intake
Those pumpkin pies and green bean casseroles may taste wonderful, but the rich flavor doesn’t come without packing some serious calories. You can still eat these higher calorie foods if you want, but you need to offset it by working out more if need be. This is why tracking your calories during the holidays is so beneficial, because you can see exactly how much you need to work out in order to maintain or lose weight. Indulging in your favorite foods is perfectly fine, and you should feel like you can enjoy them without obsessing over your weight. However, make sure you ramp up your exercise during the Fall and Winter to avoid that holiday weight gain and having to buy a whole new wardrobe once they’re over.