Binging on holiday goodies is just part of the festivities for many people, and the weight gain that results is often considered an unfortunate side effect that has to be dealt with later. However, as New Year’s weight loss resolutions become a fading memory, the extra flab has yet to be taken care of in many cases. Thankfully, there are many ways to lose the extra weight and get back to looking good in time for spring. Here are 5 proven ways to drop the holiday weight and become slim again.
Drink More Water and Cut Out The Sodas
Taking in more water can help you lose weight in several ways. Mild dehydration can slow metabolism by as much as three percent, reducing the rate of fat loss with it. Cold water stimulates the metabolism and also cools the digestive flames, reducing hunger and causing you to stay full longer.
Thirst is often mistaken for hunger, causing people to reach for food when they don’t need it. Drinking a glass of water instead may leave you satisfied without adding any calories to your daily intake. Replacing soda with water is also a great idea, especially since soda is usually consumed in addition to normal caloric intake rather than in place of it.
Reduce or Eliminate Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol can badly disrupt weight loss efforts. By lowering testosterone production, alcohol cripples fat loss and promotes muscle loss instead, which in turn lowers metabolism. In addition, alcoholic drinks raise estrogen, which increases fat gain and causes water retention.
Another reason alcohol consumption makes weight loss difficult is that it causes greater caloric intake in drinkers. Wine and beer are also practically empty calories, with plenty of carbohydrates in every serving.
Begin A Physical Exercise Program
No attempt at losing fat will be very effective without the essential element of exercise. Different forms of exercise offer their own advantages, so a combination is best.
Aerobic exercise, such as running, jogging, or cycling, speeds up the metabolism and burns lots of calories. Strength training, including weightlifting as well as bodyweight exercises such as pushups or pullups, promotes long-term increases of the body’s metabolic rate by building lean muscle mass.
Since a strength training regiment is best undertaken with rest days between workouts, aerobic training can be utilized on the off-days to keep metabolism at peak levels. You can also incorporate exercise into your daily routine by ditching your vehicle and becoming a pedestrian–you’ll save money on car insurance, too. Instead of spending your hard-earned dollars on auto insurance, allocate that monthly dividend for a gym membership to assist your weight loss efforts.
Gym memberships are frequently available at reduced rates early in the year to accommodate New Years’ weight loss resolutions. It’s definitely worth a look to see if one can snag a discount and get started on an exercise program that will also help you reach your weight loss goals by promoting a positive attitude and recognition of your inner strength.
Eat Slow-Digesting and Low-GI Foods
The holidays present numerous opportunities to chow down on cookies, cakes, other treats that cause your blood sugar to skyrocket and digest quickly, leaving you wanting more when your blood sugar drops again. Eating low-GI foods that take a long time to digest will help you lose weight by reducing your total caloric intake and by moderating the release of insulin, which shuttles calories into fat deposits.
Foods that are high in fiber and water fill you up more quickly and digest more slowly. Fruits and vegetables are in this category, especially when they are fresh. Eating fresh produce before meals is a great way to reduce the number of calories you consume in a sitting, similar to drinking a glass of water before a meal.
High-protein foods fill you up faster for longer, and like fruits and vegetables, don’t cause a dramatic spike in blood sugar like sweets do. By replacing your holiday junk food habit with high-protein, low-GI foods, you will be well on your way to healthy long-term eating habits that keep you looking and feeling great.
Reduce Stress for Several Advantages
Stress contributes to high cortisol, which encourages fat gain and inhibits fat loss. It is wise to sit down and examine how to reduce the stress in your daily life, because relaxation will supercharge your weight loss with higher testosterone and better sleep.
Poor sleep indirectly sabotages fat loss by lowering testosterone, increasing cortisol, and increasing levels of the hormone that causes hunger while reducing levels of the hormone that signals fullness. One study found that people who got four hours of sleep or less each night were 73% more likely to be obese than those who slept eight to nine hours.
It’s always best to avoid the trendy crash diets that cause you to lose muscle as well as fat and cause your hormones and metabolism to plummet. You can look and feel great for the long term by keeping good habits like those above. When the next holiday season rolls around, you may find yourself in such great shape that you’ll be able to enjoy quite a few holiday treats and nobody will be the wiser!