the Holidays without Gaining Weight
The Christmas season is undoubtedly a time
for rejoicing. Unfortunately, the average adult
does a little too much celebrating during this
time of year, which leads to extra baggage when
the New Year rings in. Festivities that include
indulging in extra helpings, snacking on seasonal
treats, and little to no workout time all contribute
to the increase in dieters in January.
This Christmas season, you can buck the trends
and avoid the Seasonal Seven (the average weight
most people gain during this time of year).
That's one trend you don't want to participate
Even though the holiday season may bring additional
stresses and challenges, there are ways to find
balance and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Though
at times it may seem impossible to bypass the
season's traditional foods, there are many ways
to partake in the fun without increasing your
dress size. 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.
Moderation is the key. It's the secret to achieving
a fun and meaningful but also healthy holiday
time. 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 weight AND also partake in the special celebrations
this time of year. So this season, get a head
start on the New Year instead of starting January
with extra pounds to lose.
Tips to Avoid Extra Weight Gain This Christmas:
Create 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.
If you work in an office setting be prepared
for the deluge of guilty treats your co-workers
and other business associates will graciously
want to share. Stash your own healthy snacks
in your desk so you won't be tempted to
overindulge when your grumbling stomach
demands a 3:00 snack time.
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
When attending a holiday function, try
to eat ahead of time to lessen your hunger.
If the party is in the evening, eat breakfast,
lunch and a snack before hand (just as you
would on any other day). Since you have
eaten meals earlier in the day, you'll be
less tempted to go overboard and eat everything
in sight. However, if you instead 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 to overeat.
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.
At holiday dinners, skip the gravy, dressings,
and high-calorie condiments.
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 at a party, scout out healthy food
options rather than doing a grab and run
on all the unhealthy selections. 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 or unsatisfied.
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 (it
even can be equipment-free) and is quite
Avoid wasting calories on alcoholic beverages.
The average alcoholic drink contains 150-200
calories per glass. If you indulge in 2
to 3 drinks, you have consumed 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 soda. 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.
Don't linger at the buffet or in the kitchen.
If you loiter in close proximity to all
the guilty temptations, you'll struggle
to keep from unconsciously shoveling food
into your mouth.
Focus on socializing. Remember, one of
the great things about the Christmas season
is spending time with friends and family.
During get-togethers, spend the majority
of time sharing conversation instead of
Hopefully these tips will help you find a balance
between staying fit and celebrating the season.
Remember, moderation is the key. Have a great
Lynn Bode is a certified personal
trainer specializing in Internet-based fitness
programs. She founded Workouts For You, which
provides affordable online exercise programs
that are custom designed for each individual.
for a free sample workout. Fitness professionals
take your business online, visit: http://www.trainerforce.com