Thursday, Christmas Day, is another time to pass the potatoes with homemade gravy. Rich, heavy foods are everywhere--and in large portions--during the holidays.
It's no wonder that Americans pack on 5 or more pounds this time of year. There's so much holiday overeating. Last last month, I tried to just say no to the stuffing. This week, I'm backing slowly away from the gingerbread cookies. And in a few more days at a New Year's Day party, I'll be at war with some delicious, devilish pots of brisket and black eyed peas.
The key to not overeating at these feasts might sound simple. I should workout before I head to the dinner table. New research shows that aerobic exercise suppresses appetite. (Lifting pans of fudge, unfortunately, doesn't count.)
Turns out that a vigorous 60-minute workout on a treadmill helps us release two appetite-suppressing hormones, ghrelin and peptide YY. Aerobic exercise is better for controlling hunger than weight lifting, too, according to the study from Loughborough University in the United Kingdom. But lifting weights is good, too.
The effects of exercise on appetite last for about two hours, meaning I need to get dinner ready early, go for a run at 3 p.m. and then move everyone to the table around 5 p.m.
Honestly, it doesn't sound convenient--or pretty--to get hot and sweaty two hours before big, festive meals. But many experts do say it's great to take a walk or be active on a holiday to prepare for the calorie load later in the day. (Check back tomorrow for the 10 Minute Christmas Day Workout.) As for me, I'll probably turn on an exercise DVD in the morning before the kids wake up. Or maybe, just maybe, I'll get a Wii Fit, and I'll get to try it out. I hear many places are sold out, and my sweet DH never plans ahead. But hey, a girl can dream.
Will you squeeze in a workout on Christmas Day? Or anytime this week?