As you may or may not know studies have shown that the average person gains anywhere from 3 to 5 pounds from Thanksgiving through New Year's and does not take it back off. Now, take that and think of it like compound interest; if we gain 3-5 pounds each year without taking it off, well, yeah, you do the math.
Holiday pounds are no laughing matter as we often struggle with how to lose the weight. We go on an emotional yo-yo of feeling bad about ourselves, to eating more to feel better, to chronic dieting, to feeling bad about not dieting successfully, and yeah, you know the drill. However, it is possible to drop the holiday pounds. In fact, it's possible to drop them and make sure you never put them back on again.
By taking the 5 simple steps below (that have proven results) to heart and incorporating them into your daily natural weight loss plan.
Step 1: Drink Water. Water flushes toxins out of your system and works as a natural diuretic and laxative for natural weight loss. It also helps your body metabolize stored fat by helping your kidneys and liver function properly. You should drink ½ your body weight in ounces of water a day. Also, drink water at room temperature so it hits your intestines quicker (cold water sits in your stomach longer because your body has to warm it up before it can pass through), and drink at least eight ounces of water upon waking before anything else to give your body an initial 'cleanse' to start the day.
Step 2: Eat Breakfast. Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. It sets the stage for the rest of the day and helps your body initiate the metabolic processes. Studies show that those who eat a healthy breakfast are thinner and healthier than those who don't. You should include a balance of healthy complex carbohydrates with at least 20 grams of lean protein for optimal 'fuel' for your body for the first few hours of the day.
Step 3: Eat Protein. Protein helps our bodies maintain muscle mass, which means more fat burning to aid in natural weight loss. Protein also provides our bodies with essential amino acids that it can't produce on its own. Another benefit of protein is that is keeps us satisfied for longer so we don't become hungry too soon between meals and snacks. You should eat at least 20 grams of lean protein, such as fish, turkey, chicken, nuts and beans, with every meal.
Step 4: Food Journal. Research shows that food journaling aids in natural weight loss. It holds you accountable and gives you a record of your caloric intake and output for the day and week. You should record everything you eat and drink as well as all of your physical activity on a daily basis. For more research on food journaling and its benefits, refer to "Did You Know Writing Helps Support Natural Weight Loss?"
Step 5: Let go of the Past. This is probably the most important, yet is the one item that isn't talked about as part of any dieting plan. Let go of any negative thoughts about what you have or haven't done in the past and focus on this day forward. Anytime a negative thought starts to creep in, replace it with a positive one like "I am achieving my weight loss goals every day."
You can lose weight after the holidays, and even more importantly, you can lose the weight and keep it off for a consistent healthier and happier you by putting these 5 steps into action starting today.