Gaining Weight This Holiday Season
...while still enjoying the festivities
season don’t be trendy – avoid the Seasonal Seven (the average
weight most Americans gain between Thanksgiving and New Year’s).
That’s one trend you don’t want to participate in!
I know what
you are thinking – the holidays are a time for fun and indulgence.
You don’t want to think about fitness during that time. You want
to enjoy yourself. Don’t worry! The festivities don’t have
to be eliminated or avoided. You can have a fabulous time while also maintaining
your weight and your fitness regimen.
to achieving a holiday season that is both full of fun and also includes
fitness is found in moderation. There are two typical approaches to the
seasonal festivities: 1) throw all healthy habits out the window and indulge
in every guilty pleasure 2) starve and binge approach (for example, you
eat nothing all day long to allow yourself to overindulge in party food).
Of course, neither approach is successful at maintaining a healthy, fit
lifestyle throughout the holiday season.
above, the key is found in moderation. With a moderate approach both to
what you eat (or don’t eat) and how much exercise you do (or don’t
do), you can avoid packing on extra weight AND also partake in all the
fun of the season. So this season, get a head start on the New Year instead
of starting January with extra pounds to lose.
some tips to help you:
a plan ahead of time. Before the holidays sneak up on you, create
a plan for incorporating fitness and good nutrition into your daily routine.
Evaluate your holiday schedule and then determine how much time you will
realistically have available to devote to working out and/or eating healthy
Don’t put your fitness goals on hold until the New Year.
If you can’t exercise as often during this time period as you normally
do, adjust appropriately. Don’t use the excuse that since you don’t
have time for your full workout you just won’t workout at all. Instead
accept your limited availability and simply reduce the frequency and/or
duration of your exercise. It’s much better to cut your fitness
time in half than to completely eliminate it.
On the day of a party, be sure to eat regularly all day long.
If the party is in the evening, eat breakfast, lunch and a snack before
hand (just as you would on any other day). Once you are at the party,
go ahead and indulge in some of the fun, delicious foods. Since you have
eaten meals earlier in the day, you probably will find that you aren’t
tempted to go overboard and eat everything in sight. However, if you starve
all day long attempting to save up all your calories for the party, you
will be so famished by the time it begins that it will be difficult not
Schedule your workouts. Mark them on the calendar and
set-aside time to complete them. Consider them as important as any other
appointment or event you have marked on your calendar.
When at a party, start by eating some of the healthy offerings.
For example, vegetable sticks (without dip), fruit pieces, plain chicken
pieces, etc. Then move on to some of the less healthy (but yummy) offerings.
You will be less likely to overindulge on these foods if you have already
filled-up on some of the healthier items. Yet, you will not feel deprived
On days that you really lack motivation or simply do not have
time for your complete exercise routine, commit to do just 10 minutes
of exercise. You’ll probably end up doing more than that
once you get started. Even if you only end up completing 10 minutes, that
is still a lot better than zero minutes.
When presented with a large variety of food options, it’s tempting
to want to eat everything. Rather than eating one large slice of chocolate
cake or a huge plate of meatballs, select a sampling of bite size pieces
of several of the desert or appetizer offerings. This way you get the
enjoyment of trying many different foods without overeating.
Exercise at home. You’ll be more inclined to follow-through
on your exercise commitment if you don’t have to drive somewhere
to do your workout. Plus, you won’t waste any time on driving, parking,
the locker room or waiting to use equipment. Working out at home requires
very little equipment (even can be equipment-free) and is quite inexpensive.
Avoid wasting calories on alcoholic beverages. The average
alcoholic drink contains 150-200 calories per glass. Indulge in just 2-3
drinks and you’ve drunk the equivalent calories of an entire meal.
If you partake in these beverages, choose wisely. For example, instead
of having a full glass of wine, try mixing half a glass of wine with sparkling
water or with a diet cola. This will help cut your calories in half.
When running errands or shopping, be sure to pack some healthy
snacks to have on-hand. Then after you work-up a big appetite,
you won’t be tempted to grab something at the mall food court or
the fast food restaurant on the way home.
Hopefully these tips will help you find a balance between staying fit
and also enjoying the fun of the season. Remember, moderation is the key.
Have a great holiday season!
Lynn Bode, owner of WorkoutsForYou.com. Workouts For You provides affordable
online exercise programs to help you lose weight, tone-up, build muscles,
increase stamina and more. http://www.workoutsforyou.com