Many of us look forward to the holiday season for a lot of different reasons: spending time with friends and family, admiring the beautiful lights and decorations, and consuming copious amounts of delicious foods and crafty cocktails. Sounds pretty wonderful doesn't it?
If you want to be sure to fit into that fancy outfit for your office holiday party, why not start now to lose a few pounds before any overindulging even begins? You'll already be set up for bouncing back, and even get a head start on reaching your New Year's resolutions. You also won't feel as guilty for having an extra cookie (or slice of pie) when you want one. These are some easy calorie-cutting tips for reaching your pre-holiday weight loss goals.
A Holiday Diet: How to Lose 5 Pounds Before the Holidays
Subtract. Remove all sugary and artificially sweetened drinks (soda, energy drinks, juices), and avoid alcohol all together. These beverages are full of empty calories and wreak havoc on your metabolism. Drink water with 0-calorie True Lemon or True Orange Mango instead to lose that holiday weight.
Skip. Pass on fast food, and cut back on how many times you go out to eat at a restaurant this month. Even with healthier options, you have little control of the quality (and amount) of ingredients. You're better off preparing your own meals at home!
Swap. Every dieter is faced with temptation. Trade out high calorie choices for skinnier substitutions, such as:
Breakfast: 1 whole-grain waffle with fresh fruit instead of 4 french toast sticks with syrup. You save: 250 calories. Homemade breakfast quesadilla on a whole wheat tortilla with eggs, spinach, salsa, black beans, and _ a slice of bacon instead of egg, cheese, and bacon on an English muffin. You save: 300 calories. Hard boiled egg over mixed greens with olive oil, salt & pepper, and True Lemon instead of a cheese omelet with hash browns. You save: 400 calories.
Lunch: 1 homemade cheese pizza on a 10 whole wheat tortilla topped with seasonal veggies instead of 2 slices of stuffed-crust pizza. You save: 410 calories. Grilled veggie burrito bowl instead of a chicken burrito with sour cream. You save: 200 calories. 1 whole wheat wrap instead of 2 slices of whole wheat bread. You save: 70 calories.
Dinner: Homemade shrimp or fish with veggies on corn tortillas instead of steak fajitas at a restaurant with flour tortillas. You save: 400 calories. 1 cup of spaghetti squash instead of 1 cup of plain spaghetti. You save: 179 calories. Chicken and vegetable stir-fry with brown rice instead of restaurant take-out with white rice. You save: 300 calories.
Snacks, condiments, drinks: 1 tablespoon of mustard instead of 1 tablespoon mayonnaise. You save: 80 calories. 2 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt instead of 2 tablespoons of sour cream. You save: 30 calories. Plain popcorn sprinkled with True Lime, Garlic & Cilantro instead of potato chips. You save: 50 calories per 25g serving. 16 oz cafe au lait (coffee with steamed milk) instead of 16 oz vanilla latte. You save: 100 calories. 6 oz wine spritzer (half wine, half seltzer) instead of 6 oz regular glass of wine. You save: 50 calories.
Sweat. Incorporating just 15-30 minutes of additional movement into your day will quickly add up, and burn up extra unwanted calories. If you're short on time, here are a few quick workouts that we love:
- A brisk walk outside while listening to health a podcast (30 mins): 150 calories burned
- Jogging on a treadmill (10 minutes): 100 calories burned
- Light weight lifting (13 minutes): 50 calories burned
- Jumping rope (5 minutes, 2 reps): 100 calories burned
It is entirely possible to lose weight before, during, and after the holidays! Losing 5 pounds before the holiday season just takes some planning, smart food swaps, and a little bit of determination. You will feel great, have more energy, and still enjoy the fun and celebration of this festive time of year!
As a standard of reference: on average a 165-pound woman that reduces her calorie intake by 480 calories per day can lose up to 5 pounds in one month. A 195-pound woman needs to cut about 515 calories, and a 135-pound woman about 435. Remember that these are approximates and measures are not exact. Do your best in reducing overall calorie intake, moving more, and being more aware of your eating habits. That goes a long way!