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7 Strategies To Avoid Gaining Weight This Festive Season

7 Strategies To Avoid Gaining Weight This Festive Season

The festive season has arrived, and everyone’s schedule is packed with important tasks to complete before Christmas arrives. Decorations need to be put up, the Christmas tree needs to be taken out of storage and let’s not forget about Christmas presents. The festive season also usually includes dishes that are only prepared once in a year – dishes that may be very delicious, but not good for your body. During the festive season, many people are also going on holiday, which means their hands will not be occupied by work during the day – making more time to snack. All of these factors often leads to weight gain during the festive period, which is unpleasant for individuals who are already struggling to lose weight. To help you stay on track this festive seasons, we have prepared a list of seven strategies that will help you avoid gaining additional weight.

1. Record What You Eat

During the festive season, we often forget to monitor what we eat and simply splurge out whenever food is brought to the table. Even those who have experienced excellent results after following the best diet plan think that splurging out will not do too much harm. Unfortunately, this is not true. During the festive season, keep a food diary with you and record everything you eat. Look at your daily food intake at the end of each day to determine how much damage you have done. Then take notes on what to avoid the following day. Keep the diary with you at all times and have a look at the ‘no-no’ list before you eat anything. The diary will also tell you if you’ve eaten too much during the day so that you can avoid overeating in the evening. When your daily food intake entry looks a bit empty at dinner, then you could treat yourself to dessert.

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2. Morning Exercise Routine

The moment you wake up this festive season, chances are you’ll immediately smell a delicious meal being cooked up for breakfast in the kitchen. All you want to do is grab a cup of coffee and stuff yourself with the delicious food that will be served. Instead of immediately running off to the kitchen, start your day with a morning exercise routine. Dr. yL reports that a recent study monitored the effect of exercise on food cravings and found an exercise routine to significantly lower the activation of certain responses in the brain that is responsible for food cravings. Thus, by starting your day with an exercise routine, you will be less likely to snack on unhealthy foods and to overeat.

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    3. Be In Control

    You may think that you are in control of your body, but as soon as you see a delicious serving of foods, then your brain takes over, and you start to overindulge yourself. Self-control is a technique that should be practiced and perfected. If you practice self-control in different situations, then you will eventually perfect the technique, which will help you stay in control of your food cravings as well. Forbes recommends exercising and meditating regularly, as well as to constantly practice self-control in different situations – such as when the children are out-of-control.

    4. Eat All Day Long

    When it comes to festive times, many people tend to starve themselves all day long and then splurge out when dinner is served. Dinners during this time are usually filled with a lot of food, including some unhealthy choices that will go straight to your belly. It is reported that fasting all day long will make you more likely to overeat at night and will increase your food cravings for unhealthy foods. This strategy is especially important if you are taking a diet pill, as you need to supply your body with a regular dose of nutrients.

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    5. Dish Up In A Smaller Plate

    The bigger the plate, the more space you have to fill it up with food. That’s a problem many of us have, especially while looking at all of the delicious food served during the festive season. Health.com reports that you can lose as much as 18 pounds in a single year by simply changing to a smaller plate. If you dish up in a smaller plate, there will be less space to fill, which means you will eat considerably less.

    6. Hand Out Leftovers

    There’s nothing like eating last night’s delicious treats for breakfast, but this is also very unhealthy for your body. When people gather at your house for a festive celebration, do not let them leave empty-handed. Rather put the leftovers in containers and hand it out to your guests. By doing this, you will not have an unhealthy selection of food to choose from the next morning.

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    7. Go For Healthier Drinks

    Cola, diet soda and many other carbonated beverages are usually readily available at Christmas parties and other festive gatherings. While these may be delicious and preferred by everyone at the gathering, you should rather try to opt for a healthier beverage. Even diet soda has been linked to weight gain, which means the “diet” part in its name doesn’t hold any significant benefits for your weight. Instead of drinking carbonated beverages, Telegraph recommends opting for iced tea, diluted fruit juice, coconut water or a vegetable juice instead.

    Conclusion

    If you are conscious about your weight and find it easy to gain more pounds, but difficult to lose them, then you should follow these seven simple strategies to help you avoid gaining additional weight this festive season.

    Featured photo credit: smartlifebites.com via google.co.in

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    Last Updated on August 15, 2018

    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

    Video Summary

    Why is it important to train up our core strength?

    There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

    This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

    Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

    In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

    One Exercise, multiple benefits

    There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

    By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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    When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

    Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

    In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

    What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

    What will happen when you start doing planks every day

      1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

      Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

      • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
      • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
      • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
      • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

      2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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        Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

        Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

        3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

          Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

          4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

            Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

            A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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            A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

            On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

            5. You’ll improve overall balance

              Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

              6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                  Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                  How to hold a plank position

                  1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                  2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                  3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                  4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                  5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                  6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                  7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                  Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                  Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                    How to improve your plank time gradually

                    1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                    2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                    3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                    Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                    Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                    You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                    • Prolapse
                    • After prolapse surgery
                    • Pelvic pain conditions
                    • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                    • Previous childbirth
                    • Overweight

                    Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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