According to several articles* online most Americans are expected to gain between 4-8 pounds this season. The uptick in eating, snacking, and drinking is fueled by the lack of exercise and consistent activity.
Christmas and other holidays do not need to be dreaded. They do not have to ruin your fitness and weight loss goals. You can make it through the holidays by either maintaining or continuing to further your fitness goals.
A good portion of your ability to successfully navigate your way through the different seasons comes down to two factors.
Decide beforehand that you will set and abide by specific rules and boundaries, then make preparations. Meal prep, get healthy snacks and drinks to keep on hand, and make sure you schedule your meals and gatherings. This will allow you to deal with the inner voices urging you to eat more and the existing peer pressure.
Here are five simple yet effective tips to help you counter this phenom.
1- Stay Active: Upping the calories you intake while lowering the calories you burn through activity is a generally bad idea. Consider doing some at-home workouts if your gym is closed or you can't make it with the hectic Holiday schedule. 30 minutes of moderate cardio is all you need. You can find any number of workouts online or ask your gym staff for a couple to do at home. Make sure to inform your trainer if you have any specific equipment you can use while at home.
2- Control Your Portions: We eat to live, not live to eat. With that said, you want to enjoy food and time with your family. Enjoy your time and meals with your family, but consider the portion sizes. Be smart about how MUCH of the different foods you eat. Enjoy a slice of pie instead of the entire pie : )
3- Drink Water: I know, Eggnog is awesome; spiked Eggnog is more awesome. But water is not only healthy for every part of your body, it has zero calories, that's right, zero. Apply the same rule here to drinking as we do with food in rule number 2. Also, consider setting boundaries on your "Pig Out" times. Want to go all out? Awesome! But make sure you eat and drink really well the rest of the day, and grab a quick workout from rule number 1. This is a great way to counter some of the side effects of overeating or drinking.
4- Try Some Fiber: Fiber helps your body break down food more effectively, keeps you regular, and helps your body maintain a healthy weight. Fiber for the win. Quick tip, take fiber in small doses for several days building up to your full daily dose. Otherwise, it can induce some cramps and intestinal discomfort.
5- Say No: Sometimes, saying no is the best option. This rule can be applied in hundreds of ways, but it boils down to this, set boundaries for yourself and stick to them. Many times it's best to have a partner in crime for this rule, someone to keep you accountable. Not a spouse; that's a bad idea. Trust me. Find someone who will be around or willing to text you throughout the day. Steel your mind, guard your heart, and say no to more stuffing.
Stick to these tips and tricks, and you should notice a BIG difference this season.