On average, Americans gain between 8 and 12 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s! Crazy, huh?
Unfortunately, we know it is much harder to lose weight than to gain it. The best strategy is to maintain your current weight over the holidays versus trying to lose weight. This puts you ahead of the numbers game come January.
Tip #1 – Plan ahead of the holiday party’s
Over eating at a holiday party is what gets most of us. One strategy you can use to avoid overeating is to make certain that you eat healthy food before you join the party. Having a full belly makes it easier to avoid indulging in all the high calorie, overly fatty, high carb foods that tend to be served at parties. Take the grazing approach to try a little bit of everything instead of eating a lot of everything.
Also, remember that there are tons of calories which are ‘hidden’ in the wine, gravy, bread and butter, cheese and salad dressing which are widely available at parties, well, the good parties at least!
Tip #2 – Use exercise to fight the blues
The days are shorter during this time of year and depression/ winter blues will take its effect on you if you don’t increase your endorphin’s. Exercise can help you maintain as well as fight off depression. Get on a schedule and stick to it as much as possible. Taking a day off here or there isn’t going to throw you off schedule too much as long as you have realistic expectations.
Winter isn’t the most popular season for racing or fitness competitions. So if you are not enrolled in any races, you don’t have to worry about maintaining an intense training schedule. In fact, it’s okay to lighten your exercise routine by cutting down your exercise period from 4-6 days/week to 3-or 4 days/week or dropping from a full hour to a half-hour, for example.
Tip #3 – Remember to enjoy yourself
It’s the holidays and there is plenty to celebrate. Worrying about holiday weight gain isn’t another stress that you need in your life. Enjoy your family and friends and if you gain a few pounds then so be it. You don’t have to keep it forever. January is a perfect time to refocus on yourself and get back to your overall goals.