As the old carol goes, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year,” but often, when talking about dieting and a healthy lifestyle change, the holiday season can be the most trying.
This is the time of year when temptation surrounds you more often than not. For instance, you’re exposed to the crème de la crème (literally!) of forbidden foods—from Aunt Marge’s walnut fudge to Grandma’s famous candied yams. So how can you avoid the sugary and fattening pitfall of the season and also learn some nice ways to burn more fat easily.
Believe or not, there are many ways to stay on track and not throw the healthy choices into the fire along with the Yule log.
#1. Realistic Lifestyle Changes
If you are in the middle of one of the phases of the HCG diet, then the holiday season with all of its gatherings can pose quite a challenge.
Therefore, you will need to have a “heart-to-heart” with yourself and deeply ponder the question of “Is it worth it?” when eyeing the cookie tray. In another instance, is that slice of pie really worth all of these weeks of adjusting to a different way of eating? Well, that depends entirely on you.
Since, you are the captain of your own ship, but unless you’re ready to back track to the Second Phase (Calorie and Fat-burning Phase), then you might consider staying with the allowable food options.
Another factor to remember is that if you’re far along into the Phase Three, then even a single cookie might make you sick, much less a generous cup of eggnog. Your body is no longer accustomed to sugar or simple carbs. Therefore, if you try to down even just one small empanada, your stomach is going tell you, “No way, Jose!”
Note also that yes, the HCG drops have been doing their job of working with your body’s systems and the nutrients that you’ve been ingesting, but you will need to stay with the reality that they cannot totally undo the damage of a giant slice of pumpkin roll (unless perhaps, it’s whole wheat, and the filling has more pumpkin than cream cheese). So have a game plan in mind before you step out to the next holiday party.
Be aware of what you can or should have while on this diet plan and focus more on socializing with everyone than the eating.
#2. Communication is the Key.
Depending on how familiar and close you are with the host or hostess, he or she might already be aware of your dieting endeavor. So often times, when there is a food restriction involved, the person who is hosting the gathering might set out food and beverages that are allowable for the person(s) who faces some dietary challenges.
In other words, if someone has a severe intolerance to gluten, then there might be foods that are gluten free; or if someone has an allergy to tree nuts, there would be some safe alternatives.
Thus, if you are very close to the person who is hosting, then you can possibly gently and politely remind them of your own restrictions. (“Mom, please don’t be hurt if I don’t dig into the tamales like I have done in the past.
I really appreciate the time and love that you put into this tradition, but I’m going to stick to my plan and enjoy the red chili stew that you always have on the side.)
Better yet, whether or not the gathering is a potluck, you can still offer to help by bringing some of your own snacks to share or the salad (vegetable or fruit).
Relish trays with vegetables or healthy casseroles to offset some of the “heavier” foods are always appreciated. Another suggestion is to bring a dessert alternative, like cinnamon-glazed pecans or spiced apples for those who may not care much for pumpkin pie.
You might be the “lifesaver” that your friend or relative needs during this hectic time of year; so then, the both of you are benefiting.
However, what if you don’t know the host all that well, or he or she is your boss? No worries! You already have your mental list of allowable foods to stick with, and there is no need to make it obvious that you are trying to avoid one dish while loading up on something else.
If anyone does call into question the scant contents of your plate, then you can always say that you’re making sure everyone else gets a helping before you serve yourself. Or you can take only ONE bite to say that you’ve tried it, and you like it. After all, who doesn’t appreciate a bit of consideration?
#3. Stay on track with your HCG supplement.
Ideally, you should be taking your drops sublingually on a regular basis without eating or drinking anything thirty minutes before or after. This routine can work out very much to your advantage.
As an example, you take your hcg drops right before you leave for the gathering, and once you get there, you won’t be going straight to the buffet. You will need to wait out the thirty minutes, and by that time, all the petite fours will be gone or you’ll just be too busy to eat.
Another option is to step into the powder room for a brief moment to take your drops. If you wait about thirty minutes or so into the gathering and then take the drops, then you will have to wait another thirty minutes before eating or drinking (except for water, but wait at least fifteen minutes or so) Basically, this gives you about an hour of guilt-free socializing, and by the time the hour passes, you probably won’t feel the urge to indulge.
#4. Indulge in the Healthy Snacks…Ahead of Time.
Raw vegetables, like celery, broccoli, bell peppers, and carrots are very low in calories and have little to no fat, unless you add plain peanut butter (not processed) to your celery, which might not be a bad idea since the “good” fat in peanut butter, along with the fiber in the celery, will make you feel fuller for longer period of time.
Going along the same lines, you can always treat yourself to a leafy, green salad with a variety of vegetables and a half an ounce of walnuts or almond slivers and a small amount of dressing. Therefore, you won’t be so tempted by any of the fattening choices.
Also, another practice to remember is that once you are at the gathering, you can get away with sticking to the veggie tray—just be careful with the amount of dip.
#5. Try Supplementing
If you still believe that you might need a bit more assistance, try supplementing with some natural “metabolic boosters.” Here are some suggestions to start with:
· Green or oolong tea - Buy here from Amazon
· Turmeric or cinnamon in capsule form (one per day is enough) - Buy here from Amazon
· Vitamin E - Buy here from Amazon
· Vitamin D (especially useful for this time of year when stress takes a toll on energy level) - Buy here from Amazon
· B - Vitamins- Buy here from Amazon
· Garcinia Cambogia - Buy here from Amazon
· L-carnitine - Buy here from Amazon
· Omega 3 Fatty Acids - Buy here from Amazon
· Fruit or Veggie Enzyme supplements - Buy here from Amazon
Occasionally, a little help from some programs can boost a sluggish metabolism and keep glucose levels at bay. These natural dietary aides coincide quite well with the HCG hormone in preventing fat stores from building up and maintaining energy.
#6. Throw Some Exercise into your Celebration
Where’s there’s a party, there’s bound to be dancing, which is one the best and most amusing calorie burners (not to mention the most efficient averaging at about 153 calories in thirty minutes).
Also, there’s no need for a partner when there are many popular line or group dances, like the Cupid Shuffle or the Bunny Hop. Other ideas include a spirited game of charades (lots of arm movement) and family-friendly favorites like football, volleyball, baseball and Frisbee golf.
In snowy climates, you can never go wrong with a snowball fight with the kids…or even just a stroll around the neighborhood. Nonetheless, some amount of movement can be incorporated into any gathering and will definitely eliminate boredom while alleviating the after effects of accidental overeating. So don’t be shy; go ahead and start the Conga line!
#7. Give Yourself the Gift of Forgiveness.
Considering the festive atmosphere, you might slip up once or twice. There really is no need to obsess, and besides, you won’t enjoy the company of friends and family as much as you would otherwise.
Because this lifestyle change is meant to be run like a marathon and not a sprint, this means that changes won’t happen overnight, and the long term practice of good eating habits and exercise will take time to kick in.
This includes overcoming circumstances that you are not necessarily accustomed to while following HCG protocol. You will eventually learn to practice moderation during any kind of occasion that greatly involves food.
Remember that you are in full control of what you take into your body, and if you indulge in one bite or one drink, you will not necessarily undo months or even weeks of adhering to the diet. You can always get “back on the wagon” and persevere. Furthermore, there are the “fix-it” days (Steak or Egg Days) that can help.
So enjoy visiting with everyone, cherish their companionship, and remember that this season does not last forever. Once Super Bowl Sunday has passed, you’re home free for quite a while…at least until spring!
Author Bio - This post is originally written by Gracy who is a dedicated and qualified nutritionist with over six years of experience in the Indian food industry.She has earned a M.Sc degree in Human Nutrition at Chinmaya degree College (BHEL) in Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
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