Weight Gain Season usually begins a full week prior to Halloween and ends about a week after the New Year. The average American gains between 5-7 lbs of new weight during this time. We then struggle to lose this weight (and all the weight gained from previous years) for the remainder of the year before we repeat the cycle.
Holidays can be hard on your waistline and hard on your mind. We take a normally “busy” lifestyle and add more “busyness” on top of it. All of this rushing around and not getting any rest can lead you to make impulsive food choices, feel continuously fatigued and emotionally drained and end up NOT enjoying much of what is supposed to be a very happy time. Here are tips and strategies to allow you to enjoy the holidays without adding the pounds.
- Remembering what your Goals are and WHY you are trying to accomplish these Goals will help to keep you on track throughout the holiday season. Temptation is everywhere and “slipping up” only takes a few seconds to consume a few hundred extra calories.
- Why are you eating what you are eating?
- Decide what you are going to eat each day before you start. Have a plan for your food. No one says you can’t have a snack, then dinner a while later and then dessert a while after that. Often we have “soup to nuts” meals multiple times per day. Strategically portioning out your meals and snacks will help to keep you in better control.
- Get some exercise right after you get out of bed. This will help you focus on your fitness and make you aware of how your body feels. Make mini bouts (5 mins) of exercise a priority for the day. Play with the dog, chase your kids, do squats and jumping jacks every 30 -45 minutes.
- Drink lots of water throughout the day. We all know how important it is to drink water and to stay hydrated. Water will fill you and keep you from feeling hungry throughout the day. Begin by setting a Water Goal for the day. Track your intake and drink BEFORE you eat.
- Eat a small breakfast to set up a slow eating day. Do not make the mistake of “making room” or starving yourself in preparation for the feast. You will consume substantially more food and calories that way AND feel awful.
- Do not bother trying to make up for a bad eating day by not eating as much the following day(s). Your body is not built to function like that. This method of over-indulgence followed by restriction will make you more hungry on day 3. Simply get back to normal eating as quickly as possible.
- Load up on the Veggie Tray. Carrots, Celery, Peppers, Broccoli, Cauliflower. If you are not hosting the festivities, find out from who is if they will have a Veggie Tray. If not, bring your own. I guarantee you that if you load up on low-calories veggies first; you will not eat as much throughout the day. Make this choice even better by bringing a low-calorie ranch dip.
- “Cheat Well”. There are foods that you are really looking forward to and there are foods that you do not really care for. Eat the ones that you really want. Ignore the ones that you don’t. Often, in holiday/social situations we eat impulsively and re actively. Be sure to Stop, Think, ChOose then Proceed with your eating by making a choice that you really want.
- Go for another walk if the weather is good. The worst thing to me is that after having a great Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner there is no energy outlet so you end up just sitting and almost falling asleep. Why not take a little walk around the neighborhood?
- Kinect with the Wii. Have an interactive game to play. What you want to do after dinner and dessert is keep away from the regular habit of snacking even though you are full. Set up a tournament with your family to get moving! Have fun and bond together!