We know we aren’t the only ones that felt a little challenged when it was time to squeeze back into our work attire after the holiday break was over. It’s not that we didn’t thoroughly enjoy all of the delicious roasted turkey, stuffing, yams, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, but now we’re all feeling a little bit lethargic and, well, plump! Fortunately, we have 6 simple steps to bouncing back from our sugar comas and squeezing back into our skinny jeans in no time!
1. Reduce your sugar intake.
For some people it’s easy to drop sugar cold turkey – we like to call them superheroes. For the rest of us however, gradual change is much easier to manage. If you’re a superhero then we applaud you (and envy you, a little), but if you’re not, here are some easy tricks to cutting a large portion of sugar out of your diet.
- Try an all-natural sugar substitute that is lower in calories, like agave nectar or stevia leaf extract, in your coffee, tea or cereal.
- Eat more fruit. You can relieve for craving for something sweet and score plenty of extra nutrients at the same time. The fiber and water will also leave you feeling more satisfied.
- Go for eggs or lean protein in the morning instead of pancakes, a muffin or sugary cereal. A little protein will keep you fuller for much longer and your entire breakfast will be virtually sugar free.
- Bring the leftover cookies and candy to work. You will score brownie points from the other employees in the office instead of extra calories at home.
2. Drink lots of water.
A surprising number of people thing that they are hungry when they are really just slightly dehydrated. When your body is lacking something it’s hard to figure out what it is that you need and easy to reach for a snack instead of a glass of water. If you have a craving in between meals, try drinking a glass of water and then waiting 10 to 15 minutes to see if you are still hungry afterwards. If you are, then let yourself have a healthy snack, but if the water did the trick then you can easily see how thirst can be confused for hunger.
3. Add more vegetables to your diet.
You can fill up on vegetables, as long as they aren’t dipped in batter and fried, at any meal to help keep cravings at bay. Many options are packed with fiber which helps you feel fuller longer and the enormous infusion of vitamins and minerals is just an added bonus.
4. Get up and move!
Even taking a stroll around the office is better than staying glued to your seat all day, especially if you are going home to glue yourself to the sofa afterwards. You should aim for at least 30 minutes of activity or 10,000 steps, every day. Setting aside a half an hour in the morning, on your lunch break or after work is a great way to start. You can also use a pedometer to help you keep your number of steps as close to 10,000 per day as possible.
5. Get plenty of sleep.
Not everyone actually requires 8 full hours every night but it’s a good guideline to follow. If you are feeling tired or sleepy during the day, then you will be more likely to store fat in your body because you are not getting enough sleep in order to keep your cortisol levels under control. Listening to our bodies can do wonderful things for our physiques!
6. De-stress and love yourself.
An inability to manage stress and succumbing to a funk can cause some pretty unpleasant reactions in our bodies. When the body remains in a state of stress for too long it can slow down its metabolic rate, increase its cravings for sugary, salty or fatty feeds, loose control over blood sugar levels causing moodiness and fatigue, and finally it can start to store fat at a higher rate than normal. Those are all some pretty nasty reactions to getting down on ourselves about how much we ate over the holidays and feeling the pressure to lose weight fast.
The key to bouncing back is to relax and take it slow. Ignore the urge to punish yourself for having a truly awesome holiday season and take on your new lifestyle changes steadily; also remember to love yourself no matter what!