To put your best foot forward this season (and the rest of the year, too), challenge yourself to incorporate at least two of these guidelines. Making small strides each day will build good habits to give you big rewards over time!
1. Increase your exercise
If you know you’ll be knocking back some extra wine (4 oz = 160 cals) at a party, make sure you balance out the scales with a long walk, jog, bike ride, rollerblading session, or a swim beforehand. For every mile of activity, you burn about 100 calories. So an hour of moderate activity can burn 600 calories! Not too shabby.
Remember that just because you exercise, you do not have a license to overeat.
Exercise in the morning on an empty stomach and you’ll burn 30% more fat.
Also, try to add weight lifting to your regime 2-3 times per week for a good metabolic boost. Stressing your muscles by lifting heavy weights programs your body to repair (and subsequently build) them up, raising your calorie-burning potential even while your body is at rest.
Remember that just because you exercise, you do not have a license to overeat. Treat your body kindly.
2. Watch your portion sizes
Okay, so you want to eat your Grandmother’s Death by Chocolate cake at an outdoor barbeque. The one you dream about, remember eating as a child, can taste in your mind when you’re feeling blue. Go ahead, have your cake and eat it too-just take a small piece so you enjoy the taste without the guilt.
Once you take away the “I can’t eat that” from food, you remove the power it can have over you.
When you eat, really enjoy what you’re eating. Savor the flavor, without guilt. Put your fork down between bites. Allow your body the 20 minutes it takes to feel full. Chances are, you’ll feel full before your plate is empty, and will end up eating less anyway.
3. Drink alcohol in moderation and always with food in your stomach
Alcohol is liquid sugar. It is absorbed within minutes into the bloodstream, and causes your blood sugar to rise and fall, turning on the body’s hunger signals. Drinking with food can offset the blood sugar fluctuations and subsequent food binges that may follow. So remember- there’s peanuts at the bar for a reason. Eat something before you start drinking.
Space out your drinks over the course of the evening. Mentally prepare yourself for the party and decide ahead of time how much you’re going to drink- and stick to it.