Most women gain weight over the holidays. And it’s hard to avoid this because food is intimately tied to the festivities. It’s hard to separate the two.
But it doesn’t have to be the nail in your arm-toning coffin.
So here are some steps you can take to minimize the damage:
1. Position your exercise before big meals: The best approach would be to exercise right before a big meal-a higher percentage of what you eat will go right back into the muscles you just exercised. But many times this isn’t realistic.
The next best option would be to exercise the day before a big meal or festivity.
2. Try to have vegetables: Even if you have a calorically dense meal, adding vegetables into the mix will slow down digestion. This in turn will minimize the sugar spike from the large meal. So try to add in as many vegetables or other sources of roughage with your holiday meals.
3. Avoid liquid calories: Drinks with calories like alcohol, smoothies and sodas will spike your blood sugar faster than anything else. So do your best to stick with calorie-free liquid like water or artificially sweetened drinks. Also keep in mind that drinking less calories means you can eat more calories.
4. Don’t starve yourself: It’s somewhat common for people to starve themselves before a big feast so that they eat more and “take advantage” of the food. Please don’t do this. Having low blood sugar right before a feast will drive you to eat a very large amount of calories. Far more than you would eat normally.
Your body will overcompensate for the starvation.
5. Drink lots of water right after: This will mainly help with water retention. The food you eat will likely have a lot of sodium in it. And such high amounts of sodium can make you water bloated rather quickly. The good news is that drinking lots of water can help your body flush out the sodium faster.
6. Don’t deprive yourself: If you are feeling a significant amount of deprivation, just stop. You are more likely to overcompensate and binge if you deprive yourself during the holidays. Try to follow these tips, but monitor how you are feeling. You can always burn off the calories later.
The holiday season doesn’t have to destroy your quest to get toned arms. If you follow the above tips, you will minimize the damage here. So enjoy your holidays and keep your goal firmly in mind!