We all know that this time of year can be challenging for anyone who is looking at maybe not losing weight but at least not ballooning up in weight with all those holiday parties, holiday food favorites and naturally something sugary and alcoholic to wash them all down with. Visions of parties that include the above are probably dancing in your sleep and possibly causing you to have a weight conscious nightmare. It doesn’t have to be that way.
If you have already been thinking of beginning a New Year’s resolution, why wait for the calendar to change. Start now, right as Christmas is fast approaching. This is a great time to get yourself motivated with a goal in mind as those holiday gatherings begin to take place.
Below are a few tips on how to get started on getting you started on keeping you reigned in this holiday eating season.
1. Before you go out to a party, don’t leave your home hungry. Make sure you have a healthy meal before you leave. Don’t think that by cutting back on your calorie intake prior to your party that you can then indulge in all those sugary or high carbs while you’re having a good time. You will only be hurting yourself as you will probably over-indulge to make up for those lost calories. But make sure what your eating is high protean or a good fiber based small meal which will help you feel satisfied and full!
2. Commit to some regular exercise this season. Make this holiday season the beginning of the rest of your active lifestyle. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you can keep to a regular schedule. Our bodies like consistency. If you plan on starting your day early to either get to a gym to start your day with some cardio and weights, plan for it. Or if you decide to get up early for a morning walk or run keep track of the distance you cover. Now would be a good time to get yourself an early Christmas gift of an activity monitor or a pedometer. The Omron HJ320 is a great pedometer to track those steps and keeps a record of your past 7 days of activity so you can see and chart your progress. The Garmin Vivofit Fitness Activity and Sleep Tracker is a great activity monitor that will help you stay on track. It not only tracks your progress but will wake you up each morning with a personal goal.
3. You’ve heard the phrase “The Carrot and the Stick”? Coax yourself into staying committed to your healthier lifestyle by purchasing some Workout Apparel or maybe buying that activity monitor mentioned above. By making a pre-reward gift to yourself, you will be far less likely to give up on your exercise program.
4. Allow yourself the opportunity to enjoy the festivities without guilt. First of all, it is important to keep everything in perspective. The holiday season brings enough stress of its own, so try not to let your fitness add to that. This should be a time to maintain, not to lose weight or to get in better shape.
5. Set a realistic holiday fitness goal. For instance, make sure you work out at least every other day, meet a weekly mileage goal, or train for a New Year’s Day race. Tell your spouse or friends about your goal and ask them to gently remind you. Better yet, invite them to join you. It’s a fact that its much easier to maintain your fitness goals if you work along with a partner. Then you can both be mindful of your commitments to working out together and remember, it’s a lot easier to NOT follow through with your fitness routines if you’re going it alone. If your exercising with a partner, neither of you wants to let the other down.
6. We attend Christmas parties every year, and you know you look forward to the specific wonderful foods at each. You know beforehand that you will be splurging so control your urges and eat only these treats that you don’t eat any other times of the year.. Use this approach at the big holiday meals as well. If you love the sweet potato casserole loaded with butter and marshmallows, then have a scoop – you get them only once a year. However, balance this out by going easy on the other foods that you can enjoy throughout the rest of the year. Remember its only once a year and if you deprive yourself instead of indulging in moderation you may end up failing.
7. Portion Size!! Ask for a smaller plate for your meal. It will be hard to fit one of everything on a small plate, so pick what you really want and then wait a while before going back. Sit far aware from the food table and talk with friends you haven’t seen in a while. If you fill the night by socializing, you will be amazed at how little control the food has over you
8. If you’re in charge this year for the meal, see what you can do to make it a little leaner. Use low fat products where you can. Your guests will be hard pressed to taste the difference when it gets to their plates.
9. Use your holiday prep time to do a few bending and stretching moves. Make the most out of the time you do have in order to get in some reps. It’s just like moving around at your job, you’d be amazed just how much cardio you can do at your desk or work place. But that can be a topic of another time.
10. After the holiday meal it usually means couch and TV time. Instead of sitting around, why not get everyone out for a walk. If you live in the country, get outside and enjoy the crisp clean air. This is a great way to slowly work off some of those extra helpings at the dinner table. It also gets your metabolism moving so you can lose that stuffed feeling and start to feel better about yourself.
Remember that the holidays can put a strain on anyone looking to make that resolution for the New Year to get in shape. Sometimes all you can do is fit in a small amount of time, but that also counts. A 20- to 30-minute walk/run is better than nothing; jumping jacks while the potatoes are boiling count; a brisk walk before the turkey or ham goes in the oven can clear your mind and set a nice tone for a busy day.
Just try to get in some exercise and then enjoy this special time with family and friends. If you make an effort it will start to show, not only physically but also your mental outlook will definitely be brighter, and guess what,,,, you will be happier about yourself because you made the effort!