How to Avoid Weight Gain Over the Holidays

Take control:

Think you can’t avoid gaining weight over the holidays? Then you’ve already lost the battle! You must decide that you will make good choices throughout the holidays. You must make that decision & stick to your guns. Weight loss & weight gain is not random. It is not a game of chance. It is a direct result of the decisions you make. You are fully in control.

Be realistic: 

If you go into the holidays with unrealistic expectations for yourself, you will set yourself up for failure. If you plan to avoid eating any sweets at all, you’ll likely end up feeling deprived & throwing in the towel. Instead, plan to indulge in moderation. You can enjoy a cookie. You’ll just want to avoid enjoying ten cookies. Everything is fine in moderation.

Do not be influenced by holiday marketing:

Every commercial around this time of year features happy families surrounded by delicious food. What they want you to take from that is delicious food = happy families. You do not need to buy all of the unhealthy, sugary, fatty foods that are being marketed to you in order to have a happy, enjoyable time with your family. Stop & realize what ideas are being marketed to you as you see advertisements this time of year.

Be careful what you drink:

Around this time of year, you will be surrounded by drinks that are loaded with sugar & calories. Avoid over-indulging in holiday drinks like alcohol, punch, egg nog, hot chocolate, & apple cider. Make these things a one-off treat, not a daily indulgence. Instead, stick to 0 calorie drinks like water, black coffee, & unsweetened tea. Alternatively, look for lower calorie versions of some of these drinks. For example, prepare your hot chocolate with 30 calorie almond milk. You won’t notice the difference; Trust me!

If you can’t avoid over-eating it, don’t buy it:

When visiting family & friends, you don’t have a lot of control over the temptations placed before you. But luckily, as long as you don’t take it home, it will only be a temporary temptation. On the contrary, the tempting things you buy & keep in your own house will be a constant threat to your waist line. If you know you can’t stop at one piece of pumpkin pie, skip buying the pumpkin pie.

Keep exercising:

This one is self-explanatory. I’m not saying you need to ignore your family & go for a jog on Christmas day. But for all of the other days in November-January, don’t give up your exercise routine. Go to the gym, go out for a walk or jog, get on the treadmill, use a workout DVD (or a YouTube video!), play a fitness game like Wii Fit, put on some music & dance. Whatever you do, do something! I know this is a busy time of year. I know it’s cold. I know you’re tired. But I also know that those excuses don’t lead to results.

Take a multivitamin:

A daily multivitamin will give you vitamin C to keep your immune system strong, B vitamins to give you energy, & everything else your body needs to stay healthy. This will help you feel better, thus help you make better decisions.

Get your flu shot:

Having the flu won’t help you make healthy choices so avoid it by getting vaccinated against it.

Don’t put things off to the last minute:

Holiday shopping, decorating, meal preparation, & writing Christmas cards are all examples of things that people tend to put off until the last minute. When you put things off, you end up rushing to do them. Rushing leads to stress; Stress leads to weight gain. Starting now, make the holiday stress-free for yourself. Do a little bit of what needs to be done every day.

Don’t sweat it if you’re not perfect:

This applies to everything. If you can’t afford to buy your son the $200 shoes he wants this Christmas, don’t sweat it. Christmas isn’t all about being able to afford the best gifts & that’s a lesson we all learn eventually. And if you have a day where you totally overeat & feel like you’ve let yourself down, don’t sweat it. Tomorrow is a new day. Try again.

Keep a food/calorie log:

Being accountable for what goes in your mouth goes a long way. Being able to see exactly what you’re doing, written down, will help you make better choices. If you have a smart phone, download the MyFitnessPal app. It makes food-logging as simple as scanning a bar code off the package of your food.

Have any tips you’d like to add? Leave me a comment. Happy holidays!

 

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