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7 dieting guidelines for the holidays

The countdown begins.
The countdown begins.
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Winter Depression

The last of the winter holidays is drawing near and New Year’s Day is just around the corner. It’s about the time to think about a New Year’s resolution. Statistics from a poll conducted in 2008 show that the number one New Year’s resolution over the past decade has been to lose weight. But how can we go from indulging ourselves with cookies and treats back to a healthy diet? Here are 7 of the most important things to remember when you’re dieting in the New Year.

1. Don’t skip breakfast.
Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day. Studies shave shown that avoiding breakfast can cause people to be hungrier during the day and overeat. Something like a whole-wheat toast and some fresh fruit is the perfect light breakfast.

Treat exercise like a doctor’s appointment.
If you schedule exercise into your daily routine like you would a doctor’s appointment you’re more likely to keep the commitment. People also find that by going to the gym straight from work helps, because you avoid going home and suddenly decide you’re too “comfy” to go to the gym. Click here for tips on how to start and stick to an exercise routine.

3. Eat something before working out.
You need energy to work out to your full potential. Studies show that by not eating before a workout causes people to get fatigued faster than they would have if they’d eaten breakfast. So do your body a favor and eat something.

4. Take a multivitamin.
The journal of the American Medical Association has reported these statistics regarding multivitamin consumption; Heart Disease risk plunged 72% in men and women, they cut the risk of colon cancer by 50% in women with a family history of the disease, and taking multivitamins for a year boosted immune functioning and cut infections, such as the flu, 40% in diabetics and 50% in the elderly.

5. Don’t believe that you can eat whatever you want as long as you exercise.
You can easily waste all the hard work you did while exercising by indulging in a treat before or after your workout. Instead choose healthy treats like homemade blended trail mix with nuts and dried fruit.

6. Avoid replacing meals with bars or shakes.
Overall, most meal bars and drinks are just not good for you. They contain a lot of calories and fat, especially granola bars. Energy bars also lose a lot of their healthiness through processing. Your body needs fiber and nutrients that are difficult to find in bars and shakes. If you're going to eat a meal bar, look at the nutrition facts carefully.

7. Drink lots of fluids.
Waiting until you’re thirsty to drink is a good sign that you’re already dehydrated. Carry a bottle of water with you to the gym or on a walk. The Institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. Click here to use this handy water calculator.