By Jane Marshall
As the holidays approach, we’re all thinking about how much our waist lines are going to expand. Well, they don’t have to all that much to be honest. It’s all about being aware, thinking smart, and educating ourselves about the foods that we put in our mouth. Last year in December, I decided to start up with Weight Watchers and by July, I had lost 40 pounds! Even during the holidays I was losing weight, even if it was 1 pound, but it was still a loss. I only stuck with Weight Watchers for about a month, but it was all about learning about food and portion control that put me on the path toward weight loss success. If you are interested in Weight Watchers, you can attend meetings or use their online tool. Or another great way to help you track your calories can be found online here.
The biggest problem with food these days is portion size. You go to a restaurant, and you can realistically make two to three meals out of some of the dinner selections! A couple of things you can do here. Either make sure you only eat a portion of your dinner, or ask the server to only serve you half of it and have the other half put in a takeout container. Save some calories and a few bucks!
Also, make sure that you read the labels, count out the portions or measure your food. Never make the mistake of diving into a box or bag of something. You will be fooling yourself with how much you think you have eaten versus what you really ate. Buying snack bags and dividing up the box of crackers or cookies into serving sizes will help you manage your calorie intake and help keep you on track. Weight Watchers has a great point system which allows you to calculate the number of points you should consume on a daily basis to maximize your weight loss. Great snacks that are 0-1 points, and that fill you up as well include a cup of cucumbers (0 points) or a cup of strawberries (1 point). I know that when I have started a diet like this, my body tends to crave the healthier things and when I do have something sugary and sweet, I tend to wonder why I wanted it, as it does not even taste as good anymore!
For the busy moms out there, it’s tough to get to the gym, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get some exercise. I find it hard to get to the gym before or after work with the schedules and commutes that my husband and I have. I have taken advantage of a small gym located in my office park that’s free to use by everyone that works there. I get on the treadmill and have built myself up to a 3 mile run in 34 minutes. Not only does it break up my day, it gives me a refreshing feeling and I can check “workout” off my list. If you don’t have a gym where you work and if the weather is good, why not put those sneakers on and go for a walk? You may even get someone to join you after they see you out there. If the weather is not so great, how about taking a walk around your office building or stairs? Another great way to get a quick workout is to buy a few exercise DVDs and do them in the comfort of your own home. You can also buy a few hand weights and resistance bands, and you will work your muscles and burn some calories. All of these items are really cheap (and available) second hand.
So, don’t let the upcoming holidays get you all stressed out about your weight. You can control it and feel good about yourself and still celebrate the holidays! Just move around a little bit and watch those portions and eat lots of fruits and veggies. Of course, make sure you are drinking lots of water too!