Provided by: OWYN

Tips to Maintain and Sustain During the Holidays…

We all know the familiar dread of returning pounds once the chill sets in the air and the holiday season begins. Office parties, snack laden tables, lavish dinners with friends and family, seasonal cocktails, sweetened coffees and our favorite carb loaded comfort foods to keep us warm. Not to mention it’s dark by 5 pm and too cold to even think about crawling out of bed in the crisp hours of the morning to go for our standard run.

To make things even more difficult, the shortened days and abundant social events make extra time hard to come by and often hours at the gym get cut.

So How Do We Keep Our Summer Physique Through Those Cold Winter Months?

Providing you don’t have seasonal affective disorder and fight depression all winter, beating the cold weather bod is simply a matter of increased awareness. We all know that energy in, needs to equal energy out if we want to maintain. We need to expend additional energy if we want to lose. If we can keep this simple rule in mind, we can defend our waistlines. The average person gains five to seven pounds over the cold holidays, and the less than average person can gain as many as 15 pounds!

It is not the weather or the season’s activities that pack on the weight. It is simply putting more in than we put out.

Studies show that people who try to diet or reduce calories during the winter months find it significantly more difficult, can be overly stressed while doing so and many typically fail. So don’t start the season with a new food or fitness routine! If you already have healthy habits in place, it’s time to weather proof them and make sure they are ready to withstand the barrage of turkey and stuffing leftovers. If you don’t follow a routine, it’s time to create some fitness boundaries that will keep you healthy till summer.

First, Take Into Consideration the Weather and the Sunshine.

When it’s 20 degrees outside and snow is falling, you’re not going to be very motivated to get in your car or exercise outdoors.

Have back-up plans for those winter days that you just want to stay
at home.

Pull up your favorite exercise app and do a routine while watching the latest episode of Shameless. You won’t even notice that last rep of squats with the Gallaghers keeping you entertained! If you are more of a fitness purest, use the quiet of the morning and start your day with yoga or Pilates in your living room. There are numerous and informative free videos on YouTube or Fitness Blender to keep your routine fresh and exciting.

Next, You’ll Need to Pay Attention to What You Eat.

When it gets cold, our bodies crave foods to keep us warm and that often means creature comforts and lots of carbohydrates. With the holidays approaching, all of these foods tend to appear in office break rooms and loaded dinner tables. An extra 200 calories a day over the next six months and you’ll end the season with an extra ten pounds!

So follow these easy tips:

1) Eat A Large Breakfast

Eat a large breakfast filled with protein and vegetables. This keeps you fuller, longer and helps you resist the pumpkin spiced muffins and ornately decorated sugar cookies. It won’t last all day, so keep healthy snacks nearby, so you have options when the cravings hit. Try baby carrots with almond butter or apple slices and granola. Keep a large bag of mixed nuts and seeds in a flavor you find irresistible in your desk drawer, and when you fight the sweet tooth, grab one of OWYN’s protein bars and sink into dark chocolate, cookie dough or cherry and lemon.

Eat a large breakfast filled with protein and vegetables. This will keep you fuller, longer!

2) Don’t Skip Lunch!

Even if you only have time to drink a cold vegan protein drink, it will be better than pushing through the afternoon on an empty stomach. Give yourself a balanced meal with protein, carbs and fats to energize your day and keep you away from the office snacks.

Winter welcomes potatoes, tubers, breads and starches, so we need to moderate with high fiber, high protein options. You don’t need to skip those lovely root veggies, just limit portion sizes and add in something cruciferous.

When it comes to dinner, be aware of the carbs.

3) Never go to a party hungry!

Lastly, the events and invitations. Never go to a party hungry! If it’s a dinner party, have a light meal beforehand. We tend to eat more when the table is full of options and everyone lingers over conversation. Don’t deny yourself the rich and decadent. This will only make you resent the moment. Instead, always serve yourself and control portion sizes. If you eat a bit more than you should, then be sure to add in more cardio over the next couple of days. When you’ve decided you’ve had enough, push your plate back and sip on water until the party is over.

Speaking of Water, What We Drink Can Be Just as Hazardous as What We Eat.

Alcohol flows freely during the holidays and creamy eggnog or syrupy coffees tend to be everywhere. Keep a bottle of water handy at all times and try to drink an average of two glasses between every cocktail. Make your coffee at home and tweak it with naturally flavored, sugar-free mixes. Allow yourself to splurge every now and then but keep the size in mind. You can always work it off tomorrow.