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5 Ways to Avoid Winter Weight Gain

Nervous about stepping on the scale post New Years? Here are some simple tips to avoid packing on the holiday pounds.

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Gaining an extra few pounds during the holidays isn’t difficult. Thanks to heavier meals and a skyrocketed alcohol intake from a full calendar of holiday parties, what’s tasty at the time equals a softer core later. Don’t step on the scale New Years Day to see an extra five pounds on top of the 10 you wanted to lose for your resolution. Follow these easy tips from nutritionist Mike Roussell, PhD, to stay trim through the holidays.

1. Schedule in exercise, and stick to it.
During the holidays, exercise tends to be the first activity dropped from a busy schedule, says Roussell. To avoid this, schedule in your exercise just like you would any normal meeting or event. “If it’s in your calendar, you know when and how you will get in that exercise,” he says. Stay active with outdoor winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, or even sledding (yeah, it takes work to climb back up the hill). Or if you're not a fan of snow, buy some ass-kicking boot camp sessions at your gym.

2. Be wary of alcohol.
“Alcohol puts the brakes on fat loss,” says Roussell. Mixed drinks loaded with carbs and sugars will put back on what you burned at the gym in a heartbeat. But, because drinking (hopefully) occurs in a social setting, it can feel weird to not order a drink. Get your first one, sip slowly, and then switch to a club soda with lime on your second order — no one will know it’s vodka-free. The added bonus to drinking slowly: you won’t risk getting tipsy and reaching for fatty foods, or overeating, both of which you’ll likely feel bad about the next morning.

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