How to beat holiday weight gain

Posted on Monday, August 17, 2015

It's January and you are broke, bloated and unfit. Sound familiar? Your annual holiday might be a great time to de-stress and unwind, but that doesn't give you permission to abandon your exercise schedule and overindulge on festive season treats.Take note of these five tips and say hello to 2014 feeling refreshed and revitalised.

Holiday exercise schedules
If you exercise regularly when you are at home make time to do the same while you are on leave. Many holiday towns offer seasonal yoga or Pilates courses, for example. If your holiday destination doesn't offer any workouts, beaches or the countryside are great places to go for a run.  You can also choose active outings so that exercise feels like fun. Try hiking, beach walks, volleyball or skiing (if you are not in sunny South Africa).

Don't make your exercise schedule so demanding that you won't stick to it. Rather aim for achievable goals, like making sure you take a brisk 20-minute walk at least every second day.And if you know that one of your New Year's resolutions is going to be start exercising give yourself a two-week head start during your break.

Eat carefully
Indulgence is one of the perks of being on holiday, right? Wrong! It is not a perk if it leaves you with unwanted kilograms and regrets for the rest of the year. Again, it's important to make allowances because you're on holiday, but also make space for healthy food.

When you go shopping, don't only stock up on salty, greasy, sugary snacks. Rather buy fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and low-fat dips, and eat those when you are peckish.

If you are going to be out for the day, pack a light lunch to take with you rather than being tempted by fast-food outlets.

Lastly, practice portion control dish up small amounts, eat slowly and stop eating when you are satisfied, not full. Try to make sure that vegetables make up half your plate.

Avoid the alcohol
One glass of wine has the same amount of calories as a packet of chips. Abusing alcohol also damages your liver and can contribute to your risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Moderate drinking classified as one unit of alcohol per day for women is fine, but you can't save up your units and have one big binge on New Year's Eve!

To drink responsibly, always drink water first, alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks, and drink after meals. Exercise also helps to eliminate toxins from your system. And of course, don't ever drive over the legal limit.

Stay out of the sun
Many women view the December holidays as the perfect time to get the perfect tan. Tans are, in fact, a sign of skin damage from exposure to the sun. Sun exposure destroys the elastic and collagen tissue in your skin, ageing you prematurely. It can also cause discolouration and ultimately skin cancer.

You can read more about how to keep yourself and your family safe from the sun in this article.

Watch your wallet
Your waistline may expand during the December holidays, but your wallet is likely to come back looking slimmer. Just like every other aspect of staying healthy during the holidays, staying financially fit also requires planning.

Before you leave for your holiday, do a careful budget of your income and anticipated expenses like travel, entertainment and accommodation and be realistic! Then set yourself a daily budget and stick to it.

Remember if you get a December bonus that you should save a portion and use a portion to pay off debt before blowing it on presents and parties.

Final word
Rest and relaxation are good for mind, body and soul. Just remember to enjoy everything in moderation and that healthy living is a gift that keeps on giving.

Enjoy the break and Happy Holidays!

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