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7 Tips to Avoid Gaining Weight Over the Holidays

7 Tips to Avoid Gaining Weight Over the Holidays

The holidays are a time where festive calorie-packed foods start coming out of the woodwork. It is also a time where people tend to overeat and put on a few pounds. Can you avoid gaining weight while still being able to enjoy the delicious holiday food that naturally entails the holiday season? With the right advice, you certainly can. Here are 7 tips that can help you do just that.

1. Avoid tasting every sweet treat you see.

Those cookies and other desserts sure do look good, but you should try and limit yourself to the sweets. Even if you have a natural sweet tooth, it’s not going to do any good if you’re gorging on that, especially after you already ate half the buffet.

While you may certainly be tempted to sample treats you don’t usually get to enjoy the rest of the year, a bit of self-control is still essential during the holidays. Have a few tiny bites and call it quits.

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2. When cooking, limit your ‘tasting.’

You might have learned early on to taste the food while you’re cooking it, but if you’re hosting the holiday party this year, you may want to limit the tasting of it. If you get carried away, you could end up devouring thousands of calories before any guests even arrive.

3. Make sure you don’t arrive hungry.

It’s so tempting to avoid eating before going over to a holiday dinner or other festivity, but that’s not going to help you avoid gaining weight. You should eat as you normally would and don’t fall for the temptation of skipping lunch.

Eat with moderation throughout the day and you won’t be continuing to scarf down everything you see.

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4. Limit the amount of alcohol you consume.

Please remember, this didn’t say don’t drink any alcohol. It said that you should limit just how much alcohol you drink while at this holiday celebration. Depending on the type of alcohol you consume, it could add a lot of calories to your daily intake, ultimately leading to more weight gain.

Beer is loaded with calories (just like soda), but alcohol also reduces your natural inhibitions, increasing the likelihood that you’re going to simply eat too much and regret it before long.

5. Get involved in conversations.

When you’re distracted by the food, you probably have a tendency to simply eat and eat and eat. You would probably keep on eating if you weren’t distracted, so make sure you get yourself involved in conversations. When you’re talking (hopefully) you won’t be eating at the same time. That’ll help temper your urge to stuff your face continuously.

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6. Start walking

Walking before and after you eat can be a great way to burn some calories. Depending on how fast your walk, you may not burn as much as you hope if you’re just casually strolling. Still, any walking is good to help cut back on that holiday weight gain.

Walking is just one of many great tips for a healthier holiday, and these are some others, too.

7. Learn to pace yourself.

The moment you arrive to any holiday celebration and you’re completely hungry, you’ll have a tendency to go overboard right from the start. That means you likely won’t be pacing yourself. By pacing yourself, it will be more conducive to setting the stage for a more reasonable amount of consumption. So how do you pace yourself? Allow yourself a few minutes at the buffet and then move on to another room or seek out that cousin to whom you haven’t talked in years.

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After a while you can return, grab a small plate of snacks and then move on to another conversation. As long as you avoid lingering too long at the food, you’ll end up naturally pacing yourself and that’s going to be incredibly valuable at helping you avoid gaining too much weight over the holidays.

Featured photo credit: m01229 via flickr.com

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Josh MacDonald

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

More About Living a Fulfilling Life

Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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