With the holidays in full swing, you don’t have to be a Grinch to celebrate while you’re trying to lose weight. Parties, holiday toast, even your aunt’s 25-pound fruit cake just don’t live up to these simple, sometimes even lazy ways to lose weight and stay healthy during greetings season and meals.
Try these super simple tips and techniques from dietitians, trainers, and other expert sources. Read on, then be sure to check out The Best Way to Prevent Weight Gain While on Vacation.
It’s tea. One of the laziest ways to lose weight is to relax in a comfortable chair and sip a cup of hot green tea at least once a day. A study in the Canadian Pharmacists Journal found that on average, green tea drinkers lost up to 7.7 pounds more weight than non-tea drinkers over a 12-week period.
Have your lemon green tea, suggests holistic nutrition specialist Heather Hanks, MS, a nutritionist with USARX.com. âThis not only improves the taste of your green tea, but also increases the bioavailability of the antioxidant compounds in green tea that are responsible for helping you lose weight, which makes the tea more effective,â says Hanks.
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What could be a more lazy weight loss activity than getting seven to eight hours of restful sleep? Doing this regularly is a great way to control your hunger hormones. “Lack of sleep makes the hormones of hunger and satiety disappear,” says Paula Doebrich, MPH, RDN, registered dietitian-nutritionist and owner of Happea Nutrition. “When we lack sleep, we have more cravings for high energy foods.”
Some research suggests that exposing your body to cold temperatures activates brown fat cells to burn more fat, says fitness expert Darren Steen, 2015 winner of America’s Next Greatest Trainer competition and owner of FatlossLifestyle.com. Steen suggests a number of lazy ways to send a chill through your body, like setting your thermostat to 60 degrees, especially the one that controls your bedroom temperature. Drop two degrees a week until your body gets used to it. A cooler room also improves the quality of sleep, which has an impact on weight loss and provides additional motivation to move more the next day, says Steen.
Encourage healthy eating by replacing Christmas stockings with fresh fruit. It’s a way to train your brain to focus on adding healthy foods to your diet instead of dwelling on what you deprive yourself of, a strategy called “habit stacking,” suggests a dietitian. certified nutritionist. Grace A. Derocha, RD, national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For example, cut out chocolate Santa Claus and candy canes (pure sugar) and replace them with something naturally sweet like clementines. Add things that are âgood for your body so you don’t always take things with you,â says Derocha.
You will probably save a lot of calories on a cocktail served in a rock glass. A 2005 study in BMJ suggested that the shape of the glass influences the size of the pour when bartenders prepare alcoholic beverages. The study found that bartenders tend to pour 28% more alcohol into large “rock” glasses than they do when mixing drinks in tall “highball” glasses. Order your holiday cheer in a tall narrow glass (and stop for a drink).
Dietitians say we often go back for a second serving of stuffing or another Christmas cookie because the delicious taste of the first serving lingers in our mouths. Here’s a lazy but tasty remedy: Take a bite of peppermint barley sugar to cleanse the palate or pop a mint and you’ll probably get discouraged from wanting seconds.
Taking a brisk walk around the block can help you avoid overeating. Research suggests that keeping your mind occupied can disrupt temptations to eat.
There are many ways to save significant calories by making simple substitutions that make your favorite vacation recipes healthier. For example, “Use tofu in your traditional pumpkin pie recipe,” suggests a nutrition coach Jinan Banna, PhD, RD, dietitian and professor of nutrition. âIt’s a great way to add fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein to your dessert. Fiber and protein help you feel full so you don’t overeat. “
One of the easiest ways to eat healthy is to drink healthy, according to a certified dietitian-nutritionist and member of our Medical Expert Panel. Amy Shapiro, Dt.t., Founder of Real Nutrition NYC: âStay hydrated with water or unsweetened drinks to feel full and reduce sugar cravings,â she says and recommends drinking 80 to 100 ounces of water per day.
According to Harvard researchers, drinking sugary sodas, sweet tea, and other high-calorie drinks won’t make you feel as full as if you had eaten the same calories from solid foods and you probably won’t eat less. of food because you are pairing your meal with a 150 calorie soft drink.
The races will be done. The stockings will be hung. Relax. Reduce those stress levels while on vacation. “Stress has a profound impact on weight because it can make us crave sweeter, higher fat foods or deregulate our hunger and fullness signals,” Doebrich warns. Try meditation, which just makes you feel like you’re lazy.
Behavioral experiences remind us that when we leave food within reach, we tend to grab it and eat it. The good news is that it generally works for healthy snacks as well as unhealthy snacks. A bowl of fresh fruit on the counter is likely to encourage snacking just as the bag of chips does. The lesson here is that when snacks are out of sight, they are more likely to be out of mind and therefore not end up in your stomach.
To keep holiday pounds at bay, a balanced breakfast is essential, says sports nutrition specialist Vanessa Spina, author of Keto Essentials and owner of Ketogenic Girl. One way to do this is to pair carbohydrates with protein with each meal. âProtein is the most appetite suppressant macronutrient because it contains 9 essential amino acids,â explains Spina. By combining your carbohydrates with protein, you will end up eating less. âFor example, if you eat whole fruit like a banana, pair them with a tablespoon or two of nut butter,â says Spina. Or replace cereal and orange juice with an egg omelet or protein smoothie with at least 30 grams of protein powder for your first meal of the day.
Instead of the high-calorie Christmas tiramisu and eggnog, treat yourself to a tasty, satiating protein smoothie designed for the season: the Peppermint Galette. Here is the recipe for 1 serving, from The 7-day smoothie diet book from the editors of Eat This, Not That! Combine 1 large frozen banana, 1 cup cashew milk, 3 large ice cubes, 1 tablespoon chocolate whey protein powder, 2 tbsp. cocoa powder, 1 tsp. dark chocolate chips, pinch of sea salt and c. peppermint extract.
The gift of forgiveness. Forget about trying to lose weight. “Alright, listen to me,” said Elizabeth Huggins, RDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Hilton Head Health. “If your health-related goals include weight loss, I recommend that you stick to your weight loss expectations for a time of year that is historically difficult for most of us to stick to the plan. original. Instead, strive to maintain your weight. “
How it works: One of the biggest reasons people stray from their health goals is because of their high expectations. Huggins says giving yourself a bit of slack during the holidays and making sure your expectations are more realistic given the time of year can get you into the New Year in better shape to bolster your healthy lifestyle.
During the holiday season, it is often difficult to find the time and motivation to exercise. âRemember, not all workouts have to be done in a gym,â says certified personal trainer Jake dickson, a weightlifting trainer with BarBend.com. âLift anything. Find anything heavy around your house and walk around with ballast. Or use seasonal sports like these to get your heart rate up and burn holiday calories:
- Ice skating: 294 calories
- Cross-country skiing: 293 calories
- Snowshoes: 336 calories
- Building a snowman: 144 calories
All calories per 30 minutes of activity for a 185 pound person.
Many people avoid Christmas and family reunions this time of year because they trigger emotional eating habits to deal with feelings of loneliness and disconnection, Huggins explains. She recommends fighting against cocoon craving. Use meetings as an opportunity to boost morale and an affirmation of your ability to make a plan to avoid overeating in front of family and food.
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