How to Lose that Extra Holiday Weight the Heart Healthy Way

Lose Holiday Weight: 4 Easy Tips

The holiday season is coming to a close, and you may be wondering what the heck happened. Whether it was little indulgences that added up or a couple of all-out, no-holds-barred “cheat days,” if you’re looking at a new, larger waistline and trying to figure out what to do about it, here are some tips on how to lose holiday weight safely, keeping your heart health in mind. After all, extra weight is a contributor to heart disease.

Avoid Crash Diets

If you’re feeling unhappy with your current weight or surprised at how much you gained over the holidays, it may be a natural instinct to do a 180 and overcorrect in the other direction. However, crash dieting can be just as (and sometimes more) dangerous than the over-indulging that landed you in a place where you want to see the number on that scale go down in the first place. Crash diets are not only dangerous, they’re ineffective and will not help you lose holiday weight. Since so many harsh diets that promise fast results are based on deprivation, the rate of gaining the weight back is much higher than for those who take a slower, steady, health-focused (as opposed to quick weight loss-focused) approach to shedding those extra pounds.

Ramp up Cardio Slowly

Don’t push too hard right out of the gate as you begin the journey toward kissing that holiday weight goodbye. Overexertion can lead to injury and injury often leads to more setbacks. Especially if you’re incorporating more vigorous cardio into your routine, make sure you do so slowly, pushing yourself but only in small increments. Every day, add a little more time to your exercise, or up the intensity within the same time frame a little. It may seem like slow progress, but before long you’ll look back and realize you can do twice what you could before the holidays, and without missing a day due to injury, to boot!

Don’t Neglect Strength

Cardio is an important part of weight loss, but all cardio and no strength will likely leave you with disappointing results. Consider alternating low impact or circuit strength routines with your cardio exercises. When you do strength workouts, make sure to only use a weight that allows you to complete the full number of reps with good form the whole way through. You should be struggling a little by the end of each set, but not so much that your form starts to suffer.

Think Clean

And of course, it was rich, heavy foods that set you on this path, so naturally it’s probably time to clean up your diet as you incorporate these new fitness regiments into your routine. Eating clean is all about eating whole, unprocessed foods. The more veggies and fruits you can get onto your plate, the better. When you’re looking for grains – choose whole grains, not bleached or refined ones. Don’t add extra sugar. Lean, clean and green should be your dietary motto after the holidays and all the way through 2018.

Unfortunately, to lose holiday weight in a heart-healthy way that supports your body’s strength every step of the way isn’t exactly a “quick fix.” However, the results you’ll get from taking this route will last much longer than any promised rapid results out there. And, you’ll get the added benefit of a healthy heart and a new, healthier lifestyle that will last for years to come. Maybe next holiday season, those delicious treats won’t be quite so tempting (and if they are, at least you’ll be better prepared to handle the aftermath!)