“Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we diet!” Have you said that to yourself a few times as we roll into the holiday season? I know I certainly have! ‘Tis the season to bake cookies, prepare delicious meals, drink a bit more then usual and sample all the tasty hors d’oeuvres served at the various holiday parties, and not feel accountable for other overindulgences, right? Wrong!
Just because you are in the middle of the holidays does not mean you should give yourself permission to derail from all the goals you have set for yourself and achievements you have made throughout the year. Bah humbug! “I want to enjoy the holidays,” you say!
I want to discuss a few strategies you can use not only during this time of year but throughout your weight loss and fitness journey.
Strategies for Weight Loss and Fitness
If you have a party that evening, don’t starve yourself all day and arrive ravenous. Arriving hungry at a party is an express ticket to self-sabotage. Eat something filling, lean protein or high fiber foods are great choices, and make sure you have consumed plenty of water. Once at the party and no longer hungry, you will be less likely to cheat on gooey cheesy apps that only make you want to eat more. Drink simple cocktails. If a cocktail has sugar and/or cream, it’s likely to work against your weight loss goals. However, it is the holidays, just be mindful of indulging in moderation. If you want that decadent drink or dessert to be your splurge, go ahead. Just don’t splurge on everything. Pick your cheat and keep it to one. Enjoy it too!!
Know your triggers
Is it sweet? Is it salty? Personally, I could eat a dozen peanut butter blossoms cookies, or a Gibson’s style slab of cake, in the blink of an eye. Sweets, particularly cake and baked goods, are a known trigger for me. I find them nearly impossible to resist. With this knowledge, I can prepare myself not to fail. If I’m making my Grandmother’s red velvet cake, I absolutely make sure I get a piece but I also give away a lot of it. This way I don’t have the cake trigger in my house. If giving it away is not possible, I at least try to keep it out of sight.
If I’m at a party I steer clear of the dessert table. Knowing how to cope with trigger foods over the holidays will help reign in mindless eating. Coming up with ways to still enjoy those holiday treats, without over doing it, is an effective way to enjoy your treats but keep your goals in check. Get creative! Maybe you even freeze some of that cookie dough so you don’t have 4 dozen cookies just sitting around waiting to be consumed.
Set a goal for the season
Do you want to lose weight over the holidays? Maintain? Allow for a few extra pounds? What are you goals and are they realistic? If you are going to be out to eat a lot and you’re hoping not to gain any weight, look at the menu before you go and see what fits best in your food budget. Are you hosting dinners? If so, use the opportunity to prepare some delicious dishes that are healthy, and you know are not laden in butter and fat. I love trying skinnysweet recipes. They have tasty ones for the holidays!
Don’t give up on your fitness
The holidays are here, but don’t take a holiday from moving your body! Keeping your body moving and exercising will keep your metabolism fired up. Also, if you put in the time and effort to remain fit, you may also be less likely to want to derail all the good you’ve done. Bear in mind though, exercise (while so good for your body, mind and spirit) is not a miracle worker for bad nutrition! There are 24 hours in a day and solid exercise is 1 hour of it. What about the remaining 23 hours? What choices are you making with your nutrition? Nutrition is 80% of the “fit” equation that should never be undervalued. If you are truly committed to your nutritional goals, then tracking your food on MyFitnessPal (it’s a free app!) will prove indispensable to you! The app helps keep you accountable and let’s you know what you have in your food “budget.”
Keep your personal trainer in the loop
Share your concerns and activities with him or her. We have your back – literally! Have a cookie swap ahead of you? Fun! Keep it real with your trainer, be honest and we will do our best to help you stay motivated and keep you on track when temptations are at an all time high. You can indulge and it’s important not to feel like you are depriving yourself, just don’t sabotage your hard work by indulging too frequently. I often find that if I work out, I’m more motivated to make healthier nutrition choices throughout the day.
The bottom line is, it is not easy to maintain or lose weight, especially during the holidays. If it were, the world would be filled with lean fit people. It is a step-by-step, meal-by-meal, workout-by-workout process. Stay motivated, remember your goals and enjoy the indulgences of the holidays in moderation. Happy Holidays!
No more struggling on your own to lose weight. Contact Pam (630-653-8152 or email@example.com) to schedule your complimentary, no-obligation fitness consultation. With Strand Fitness, you will have the personal guidance and accountability to lose weight, be healthy and feel “less old.”