For some of my clients the holidays season brings them joy, laughter and fond memories that last forever. For others the holidays represent fear, uneasiness and for some a little horror even.
This is because the holidays are typically full of sugar, fat, alcohol and convenience based foods because we are so busy. All the excess debauchery leads to excess pounds and too tight jeans over the course of the month of December. This is why I wrote this post on 4 ways to maintain your weight over the holidays.
1. Get in the Right Mindset
Face it. The holidays are a busy time of year. I usually don’t suggest to any of my clients to try and lose weight over the month of December. Maintaining your weight is hard enough for the majority of people, even us personal trainers.
Having the right mindset out of the gate is integral from the get-go. Don’t beat yourself up. Cut yourself some slack and remember that December is a tough month as it is.
2. Develop a Plan
When embarking upon anything great, you need a plan. And just like the cliche says “If you fail to plan, you’ve planned to fail.” Plan out your calendar not just for upcoming parties and get-togethers, but also for your exercise days and food preparation needed to stick with your fitness goals.
Remember to plan out which days you are going to let loose a little and indulge. No one can be so strict and not have any guilty pleasures over the holiday season. Pick the parties where you might drink and eat in excess. Just be sure not to choose all of them.
3. Expect Roadblocks
Following through on your plan to a T might prove to be a little difficult for many people. There will be roadblocks and situations that will try and throw you off course. Situations happen. You see an old friend, people offer to buy you drinks, you receive an excess amount of sweets as gifts and more…
Know what you are up against and know how to overcome the obstacles. Drink more water before going out. If you have a Christmas Buffet for example, remember that buffets were not meant to stuff your face to get the best bang for your buck. Buffets are meant to give you a choice of different foods.
4. Have an Exit Strategy
Wherever you go over the holidays, make sure you have an exit strategy in case things get bad. Maybe you are at a function and there is just way too much food there? Maybe the alcohol is bottomless? There could be all sorts of food related things that go wrong and contribute you to gain excess weight?
What you want is a reliable exit strategy that works no matter what. You can say you have a food allergy. You can say you need to leave because the kids are acting up. You be the designated driver. Anything that will help you avoid eating or drinking excess calories that adds to more pounds on the scale so you can’t maintain your weight.
Sure, Christmas and New Years might bring about more parties and platters of pickled peppers (that just sounds cool, right?). But just because you are invited out doesn’t mean you have to eat and drink everything in sight. Give yourself some realistic boundaries, stick to these 4 ways to maintain your weight over the holidays and you will do fine.
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by Robert Foster, Milton Personal Trainer