If you have spent the last few weeks bingeing on desserts, calorie-rich holiday dishes and alcohol, you're probably feeling guilty about your waistline – especially if the jeans feel a bit too tight. If your portion size recently ballooned like floats in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, it's time to get back on track right away: save the New Year's resolution for taking a longer vacation or learning a new language.
To help get rid of those extra pounds and help relieve holiday bloating, you can take these measures:
1. Get back to cardio
The first thing you need to do is get back to your cardio schedule. If you've missed cardio sessions over the holidays, you might feel a little sluggish. Apart from burning calories, cardio helps in release of toxins via sweat. For the first week after the holidays, perform more intense and longer cardio sessions. Try to burn at least 500 calories per session to burn one pound of fat (3500 calories) in a week.
For the maximum fat burning effect, perform 30 minutes of cardio in the morning on an empty stomach (that's when the body is deprived of its glycogen stores and is ready to use fat for energy). Cardio combined with weight lifting will gradually enhance muscle definition.
2. Simulate your metabolism
Increase your intake of foods that can help simulate your metabolism. Capsaicin, when used on meals, can reduce appetite and increase metabolic rate. Chili peppers contain this metabolism boosting capsaicin compound. In addition to hot peppers, green tea is also a metabolism booster: it contains EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) that blocks a major enzyme that breaks down the body's fat burning hormone.
Another option is to take a fat trimming supplement that contains these and other metabolism boosters. On its Facebook page, Healthy Trim notes that natural dietary supplements include green tea extract rich in polyphenols, which is useful for weight management. Another ingredient that supports a healthy metabolism is resveratrol: it counters the negative effects of high-calorie diets. Naturally, dietary supplements with regular exercise and proper diet will yield the best results.
3. Be a little hungry before bed
Be a little hungry, but do not starve yourself. You don't want to be too hungry during the day, or till dinnertime, because then you'll be in starving mode and eat the last meal of the day like the apocalypse is imminent. It's a common trait called the 'night eating syndrome', and it's most likely to strike after holidays are over.
The strategy is to stay properly energized during the day so you don't lose it later on. Eat moderate meals throughout the day, and stop eating after the last meal. This is called sleeping on a little empty stomach. It's really OK to be in this state before bedtime, as your appetite rests overnight, and you can start off with a clean slate of eating a healthy breakfast the next morning.
4. Drink plenty of water
Aside from suppressing your appetite, water can help you lose weight by helping you avoid sugary and alcoholic drinks. If you consume two cans of cola a day, substituting plain water can help you save 270 calories a day.
As one pound of fat is 3500 calories, sparing these many calories can help you with half a pound of weight loss a week. Water also keeps you hydrated, which may reduce the need to reach for a snack when you really need fluid.