This is the time of year when people get extremely nervous about the scale moving in the upwards direction while trying to enjoy festive occasions with family and friends. What usually happens? They pack on 5-10 pounds and then have the same New Year resolution to lose the weight.
Guilt, feeling like you’re cheating, failing, and being remorseful are all common feelings people have over the holidays. I am here to guide you to head in to them armed and ready!
We all know this time of year can be a difficult time to stay healthy and fit. The festive season is filled with socializing, alcohol, and of course, lots of food!
It’s best to keep your goals realistic. Keep these strategies in mind and try to uphold them to avoid packing on unwanted pounds.
- My BEST advice – make your goal to MAINTAIN and not GAIN. To come out of the holiday season the same size you went in to it is a WIN!
- Control your alcohol intake. While most of us love to have a great glass of wine or cocktail, be aware that alcohol is the first thing that your body burns before any food. This takes a long time and any food you eat while you are drinking will be stored as fat. I am NOT telling you not to drink, but I encourage you to eat healthy throughout the day so you don’t binge on fried, calorie dense foods at your gathering. Also keep in mind that the mixers and juices contain a lot of calories and add up fast so keep drinks “clear” – soda water, tonic or wine will be your best bets!
- Keep active during the holidays. If you can’t make it to the gym or do your usual workout, go for a walk, incorporate exercises that don’t need equipment or climb your stairs. Just keep moving! Any workout is better than none!
- Plan ahead. If you know you are going to a party focus on lean protein, fruits and vegetables the remainder of the day. It may be hard, but you will be able to treat yourself to some yummy food without the guilt and without sacrificing your waistline later on.
- Drink a lot of water! Aim for a gallon a day. Flavor it with lemons, berries, cucumber or crystal light. Drink up!
- Eat healthy most of the time but don’t limit yourself from having treats. This leads to bingeing since eating “good” 100% of the time is beyond difficult. Everything in moderation! Choose your desserts wisely and savor them.
- Weigh yourself regularly. It will keep you mindful of your goals and keep you more on track. This may be difficult for some, but seeing the number each day keeps things “real” and alerts you each day.
- Fill up on fiber. Snacking on vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains will keep you fuller longer. In addition, these types of foods have more volume in them so you can eat more of them as well as them keeping you full.
- Most importantly, give up on being perfect. The holidays are stressful enough. Life is meant to be enjoyed with friends, family and co workers. Be mindful, keep things in moderation and do the best you can. Remember, to MAINTAIN is a GAIN!