By: Fitness Educators
It’s not really a surprise that many people experience weight-gain during the holiday season. This is simply a result of the added surplus of fatty foods to the diet, increased consumption of alcoholic beverages, and reduced activity. There are, however, a few simple dietary tips that you can have your clients follow to stave off weight-gain. These tips aren’t fancy, but as you know the most effective tools and guidelines are those that are simple enough to be followed. So, what can we have our clients do at the dinner table that enables them to still enjoy the Christmas season while staying on track towards reaching their weight-loss goals?
1- Just Add Water
Often we think that we are hungry when in actuality we are simply dehydrated. This feeling of “hunger” leads to overeating. In order to tone down overeating and resulting weight-gain, a simple step is just to be sure we are hydrated. A great way to make this happen is to have 16 ounces of water 30 minutes before each meal. This will reduce the signals “false hunger” and additionally will help the body metabolize the food eaten in a more efficient manner.
2- Don’t Skip Meals
Some people think that it’s a good idea to skip meals early in the day when they’re anticipating a large dinner. The feeling is that they are “saving calories”, but this is a BAD idea. It actually sets these well-meaning folks up for a major binge during which they eat a surplus foods that are notoriously bad for the body. Instead of skipping meals, be adamant about eating regular sized healthy meals earlier in the day. This way when dinner time comes they aren’t in a ravenous state. This will make for a “reasonable” showing at the dinner table when the feast arrives.
3- Enjoy the Feasts
Take the time to enjoy the “Three F’s”: Family, Friends and the Feast. If we’re adequately hydrated and have eaten reasonably throughout the day leading up to the typical holiday feast, we are prepared to enjoy the dinner. Start off by eating the proteins and veggies and then move on to the carbs and finally the desserts and treats. All too often we hit up the treats and sweets before the main course. This is a major shock to the system that ends up primes the body to store fat. By eating in the prescribed order and taking our time, we find that we’re fully satisfied and will eat a much better balance of nutrient rich foods that will actually nourish the body. Furthermore, by taking our time and conversing with family and friends rather than scarfing down a bunch of treats first, the stomach is allowed the time to realize it is actually full. This cuts down on the typical over-eating that happens during the holidays. The end result is a satisfying meal that nourishes the body and soul.
The take-home message here is that our clients shouldn’t have to deprive themselves during the holidays. They need to be able to enjoy their time with family and friends. It’s up to us as trainers to give them the basic tools to make sure they’re able to do so AND still stay on track towards reaching their fitness goals.