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Keeping Off the Holiday Pounds

It is incredibly easy to pack on a few extra pounds over the holidays. With staff parties, Christmas treats, awful weather and the grand feast on the 25th, keeping the waistline to a desired width can be a struggle. Here are five things to watch to keep the holiday weight off:

1. Alcohol Consumption – There is crazy pressure to drink over the holidays. From the wine bottles from your guests, to the wonderful winter ales we talked about in a previous blog,  alcohol contains sugars that go right to your middle region. There’s a reason they call it a beer gut. Take a few nights off and offer to be the designated driver. If you are drinking, set a limit to the number of drinks you will consume. If you’re looking for a lighter alternative than rum and egg nog, try a cranberry juice blend or a vodka soda.

2. Christmas Baking – If you love to bake, make sure that a high percentage of your sugary yield ends up as gifts for your friends and family. You may also want to try using other products besides butter and cream. Applesauce and other fruit purees can stand in for butter in some recipes.

3. Second Portions – You may want to try all of the culinary options at your Christmas dinner, but coming back for a full second plate of food is dangerous. Shrink your portions and create a small tasting plate. Try everything without the binge eating.

4. Time on the Couch – You knew it was coming… The temptation to veg out is always high on the holidays. Break free with nightly walks around the neighbourhood.  Take in all the light displays and enjoy some outdoor time with your family. For higher impact exercise, hit the gym. Ask a loved one to buy you a membership pass as part of your gift exchange. Note: Never buy a gym membership for a significant other unless they’ve expressed a desire to go. Awkward situations will be avoided…

5. Sleeping Hours – It’s easy to lose an hour or two during the course of the week, especially with all your social obligations and midnight wrapping sessions. Try to make practical choices about what you ‘can’ do over the holidays. Losing sleep means your body has less energy to burn fat. Keep your metabolism moving at a high level and secure at least 7-8 hours per night.

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