So, let’s be real. No one likes the extra layer of fats that can transfer from table to thighs during the holidays. From Thanksgiving turkey to Christmas cookies, the temptations are endless. How do we combat this seemingly eternal deluge of deliciously unhealthy options that bombards us annually?
- Swap the Latte at Starbucks
Who would’ve expected the beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte to have a dark side? With a whopping 50 grams of sugar, 14 grams of fat (8 of which are saturated fats), and no actual pumpkin (just artificial flavoring), there’s no question the fall icon contains more than just happiness. According to Starbucks.com, there are 380 calories in a grande. This hot beverage can take a toll on your fitness pretty quickly. Swapping out this classic for the equally delicious skinny vanilla latte cuts down on fat and sugar. A non-fat grande vanilla latte contains only 120 calories, 16 grams of sugar, and no fat.
- Pick your poison
When out eating with friends, one is tempted to splurge. Cut loose a little bit without compromising your waistline. Choose bread, a dessert, or soda. Not all of them. This simple step can do wonders in the long run, especially if you eat out often. “Picking your poison” is easily applied to family dinners as well.
More Muscle Burns More Calories
According to Health.com, a combination of weights and cardiovascular training is essential to losing stubborn fat. The build of muscle allows the body to burn fat easier. If you’re not a fan of the weight room, try yoga or an aerobics class. Yoga builds flexibility while building muscle by resistance against body weight.
- Don’t Be Selfish
Making holiday treats for others doesn’t have to be the demise of your willpower. I know I’m guilty of eating the cookies straight as they come out the oven, only to realize I had eaten 50 percent of them by the time they had cooled. Eating a good meal before I start baking and choosing to make treats that aren’t my favorite have both proven to be effective tools. Willpower is a muscle; the more you use it, the stronger it gets.
- Cut Carbs Like No Ones Business
Contrary to popular belief, eating bread before dinner actually makes you more hungry. According to authoritynutrition.com, low-carb diets produce 2-3 more weight loss than low-fat diets. Low-carb diets work most effectively by reducing water weight within a few days. The stubborn band of fat covering your lower abdomen is most likely from white bread, pastas, etc.
The key to keeping a healthy body is consistency, especially throughout the holidays. Exercise effectively while eating with discretion, and watch your body transform. Remember that it is not possible to spot-reduce fat, but you can choose a diet that targets “problem areas”.