Many people slip this time of the year with their health and fitness goals. It is a common occurrence to start the new year with a few extra pounds on that were mostly accumulated during the time period between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. The average “fit” American puts on about an extra pound during the holiday season, and people who are overweight tend to put on closer to 5 pounds during the holiday season. The biggest problem is the fact that the extra weight that is put on during this season tends to stay on. As I always say, it is all about consistency. If you are the average “fit” person who only puts on one pound during this time of the year, but doesn’t take it off, that equals a whopping 10 pounds of weight gain in a decade! Multiply that over a few decades, and you find yourself overweight- which starts the vicious cycle of gaining more weight, since research shows that overweight people tend to gain more weight during the holidays. It is very important to enjoy yourself during the holidays, as they always fly by very fast. Embrace and enjoy this time with. your family, but stay conscience of not putting on the extra weight this year. Here are 5 tips that can help you keep off the weight, and start the New Year with an advantage.
1. Secure Home Base
Everywhere you go this time of year is filled with temptation. Snacks, sweets, parties, etc. Your willpower will be tested almost on a daily basis, so don’t give yourself an opportunity to give in while your willpower is at its weakest. Whether it is out of boredom, stress, or lack of willpower, un-conscience snacking is at it’s worst at home after a long day. Keep the snacks out of your home, as you will probably be indulging everywhere else.
2. Pregame the Party
No, I am not talking about the same pregaming you used to do in college before a frat party. I’m talking about consuming a healthy snack that is protein based before going to the next holiday party. Having a protein based snack will help keep your cravings in check when all of the unhealthy food is in your face. Protein digests more slowly, which can help you feel satisfied longer. If you aren’t hungry, it makes it a lot easier to pass on the temptation of eating everything in site at the holiday office party.
3. Plan Ahead
Life is to short to just skip out on your mother’s famous pie, so instead of passing on it — plan for it. If you know that you will be eating and drinking more than you usually do, lower the amount of calories that you are eating leading up to the day of indulgence. Give yourself a couple of days before hand to consume less, so that when you do overindulge it doesn’t put you over the amount of calories that you should be eating each week.
4. Exercise in the Morning
Research shows that people who exercise in the morning move more often throughout the rest of the day (more movement=more calories burned). It also shows that those who exercise regularly in the morning have a stronger willpower to say no to less healthier food options throughout the day. You might feel lazy during this time of year, and tell yourself, “I will get back on an exercise routine stating in January.” However, don’t let yourself fall into this bad habit. Stay consistent with working out, even when you don’t feel like it. Don’t weight until January, because you maybe making it even harder on yourself when January does come around.
5. Don’t Drink Your Calories
The average person consumes about 7 alcoholic drinks per week. During the holidays, that average can jump up significantly. Let’s say you add an extra 4 drinks per week, which is very easy to do during this time period. At the end of the 4 week long holiday season, that is an extra 16 drinks, or more importantly, about 1,600 calories. That is like adding one more full day of calories per month! If you know that you have a holiday party coming up, skip your regular glass of wine when you get home from work. Stay conscience of how much you are drinking, and don’t let the booze add to your holiday weight gain.
If you are serious about focusing on your health and fitness in the New Year, don’t end this year by putting yourself in an even harder position to succeed. If you need any help with figuring out the right plan for your goals, schedule a discovery call with me using this link here. Happy Holidays!