8.) Immediately Resume Your Normal Eating Schedule at the Next MealWhat’s done is done. Now it is time to get back to your regular eating plan. Remember weekly caloric intake is far more important than daily caloric intake. For example, let’s say that you need 3,000 calories per day to maintain your current body weight. Well, all that you need to do is make sure the average daily caloric intake each week is 3,000 calories per day. This means that you can fluctuate your daily caloric intake and yield the same results as if you ate that same amount each day. So if you have one day of big eating where you eat 9,000 calories (just an example, not a recommendation), but you only eat 2,000 calories per day the rest of the week, you will still end up at the same caloric balance. Again, I am not recommending that you eat in such an extreme manner, rather I am suggesting that you do not have to obsess about being perfect. Enjoy some indulging in moderation at your various holiday festivities knowing that the week in review trumps a day in review, even when you are particularly naughty on any given day.
9.) Never Eat Junk Food for Breakfast or Before BedEating a highly refined carbohydrate meal first thing in the morning will make your blood sugar levels go crazy for the rest of the day resulting in greater junk food cravings and uncontrollable hunger. On the other hand, eating a big meal before bed will result in a bunch of unused energy that will be stored as body fat and you very well may have trouble sleeping with all of that extra food volume in your stomach!
10.) Control your PortionsTry to eat only half of all the servings of unhealthy food that you choose. Half of the portions equal half the calories!
11.) Avoid Empty Liquid Calories and AlcoholOne can easily consume over 1,000 calories per day from liquid calories alone. This means that in one week, you will gain 2 lbs of body fat from just fluids! Opt for regular solid food calories versus empty liquid calories (e.g. juices and soft drinks), for at least the food will fill you up and provide some nutrition where as liquid calories, particularly alcohol, have no such effect. Rather, sugary and/or alcoholic drinks tend to make you hungrier in general and often hungrier for junk food in particular. Furthermore, your body cannot burn fat until the alcohol is processed out of your body in addition to the fact that alcohol consumption actually lowers leptin levels thus defeating one of the main purposes of this flexible eating (decreased leptin levels increase hunger and decreases your body’s use of fat for fuel). Thus over-consumption of alcohol can prevent the fat burning process from resuming until several days later and/or even cause unwanted fat gain and thus set you back as little as a few days to as long as a full week!
12.) Use Lower Calorie/Carbohydrate Substitutes Whenever PossibleInstead of using sugar, opt for zero calorie alternatives like truvia or stevia. They can deliver a similar taste without all of the extra sugar and calories. Even try replacing yeast with protein powder when you bake. The extra protein and reduced carbohydrates will result in a slimmer you while still providing some great tasting treats! Your goal should be to find the minimal amount of calories that can provide the same great taste that makes the holiday treats enjoyable rather than simply overdoing it because you can!
13.) Avoid Eating Meals that are High in Both Fat and CarbohydratesThe absolute worst thing that you can do is to eat a meal that is high in both fat and carbs. The high amount of carbs will lead to a rapid increase in blood sugar levels and thus large increases in the potent fat-storing hormone Insulin. The high amount of fat will lead to a large increase in free fatty acids in your bloodstream. Since Insulin is already present in large amounts, in addition to there being a large amount of free fatty acids now available in your blood, the stage is set for all those free fatty acids to be gobbled up and stored by your fat cells. This is the equivalent of becoming the next Goodyear blimp, so it is imperative to use caution at your holiday meals when it comes to combining fat (particularly saturated and trans fats) and carbs (particularly starches and refined sugars). In general, it is best to choose one over the other. But since most people crave carbs at their free meals, it is essential to keep the fat low at this meal. Want pasta? Instead of alfredo sauce, opt for marinara sauce with whole grain pasta. Want pizza? Make your own pizza with whole grain crust and fat-free cheese. Want mashed potatoes? Well then be sure to skip the gravy and go easy on the butter. These small changes can literally save you hundreds, even thousands of calories, and more importantly will prevent your holiday feasts from creating the optimal fat-storing environment that will set you back from achieving your health and fitness goals.
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