Did you know that the average weight gain during the holidays ranges from three to eight pounds? The holidays are actually a great time to make a few small changes but it is not the time to go overboard and start a very strict diet. Personally I don’t like or use the word diet – such a horrible sounding word isn’t it? This holiday season, instead of thinking of weight LOSS, shift your mindset to weight MAINTENANCE and stay on track. We deal with enough stress during the holidays, don’t add weight loss to the list.
So where do you start? You start where you are today. Do not worry about last week or the Thanksgiving dinner you ate. It is in the past – let it stay there. Start today by shooting to eat clean 80% of the time through the holidays and squeezing in some exercise four or five days each week. If you keep on track 80% of the time with your eating along with exercise, you should not gain the “average” weight gain of three to eight pounds.
Take your time and shop smart when you go to the grocery store. You know there are going to be extra holiday goodies lurking in the aisles calling your name as you walk by. Eat a light snack before you head to the store to keep cravings in check. When we hit the grocery store when we are hungry, we tend to put things in our carts that we normally wouldn’t. Just eating a light snack will help you stick to your grocery list. Be sure to include lean protein, vegetables, fruits and whole grains on your list.
Holiday parties on your schedule? That’s okay! The holidays are about celebrating with family and friends so enjoy yourself. Have a light snack or meal before heading out the door. At the party, go ahead and sample two or three less than healthy options but keep to your main focus of eating clean for the rest of your meal. Choose veggies and dip, fruit, nuts and cheese to munch on from the snack table over chips, cakes, and other less than healthy options. When we deprive ourselves, the temptation becomes that much stronger just because we have told ourselves “no.” What about alcohol? Again if you do indulge, keep it in moderation. Alcohol contains empty calories so try not to overdue it.
Next stick with your exercise schedule. The holidays is not the time to get off track with your exercise. Shoot to exercise for 30 minutes for three to five times per week. The good thing about this time of year is there are so many different activities and events you can participate in. Choose from fun runs, fitness class parties, dancing and more. This is the time of year to have fun so make sure your exercise is fun too.
Finally, don’t let the holidays stress you out. Try to keep the focus on what the holidays are meant to be and not about the material things that often end up getting in the way. When you find yourself getting sucked in to the craziness that often surrounds the holidays, take a mental and physical step back and regroup. Remember to keep it simple and enjoy the time spent with family and friends – some of which you only see once a year. That my friends are what the holidays are truly about.
To your health,
Denise Sanger is a high energy business owner with over 30 years experience in the marketing area. She has transitioned her love of fitness and marketing into helping others succeed in getting fit and running their own businesses. She founded How To Stay Fit Over 50 to provide hope and support to others by motivating them to take the first step in their fitness journey no matter what age. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.