Though I have been in the health and fitness business for almost 30 years and have “watched” my eating for my entire life, the holiday month still presents a great challenge to me. Here are some simple solutions to avoiding the 7-10 pound weight gain that can so easily happen this time of year.
* Drink a large glass of water (I like fresh lemon squeezed into mine) each and every morning upon rising. Continue to drink as much water as you can through the course of the day.
* Weigh in each and every morning. This keeps us from being shocked at the end of the week, or month and helps keep us on track.
* Carry healthy snacks at all times, especially while out shopping for gifts. If necessary leave a small cooler in your car with water and fruit, or make a bag of trail mix with some nuts and dried fruits (easy on the dried fruits, though—they are loaded with sugar). Whatever you do, don’t let yourself get so hungry you are forced to grab a butter laden soft pretzel or drive thru fast food.
* Keep a food journal. Writing down what we eat tends to keep us accountable.
* When going to a party, reduce the calories consumed drinking alcohol by starting with a glass or bottle of water and alternating between water and your drink of choice.
* Follow a high calorie day with a day of cleansing with lots of water, fresh fruits and vegetables.
* Even on the most hectic days, try to find at least a half an hour to get your heart rate up with some form of exercise. Even 20 minutes of vigorous exercise will be far better than none!
* Put up a picture of YOU looking your best on your fridge or mirror or above your desk at work and look at it often! Don’t lose sight of your accomplishments and goals.
* Avoid cookies, cakes and baked goods as much as possible. Though no doubt yummy, these are the foods that tend to be filled with empty calories. Save these indulgences for the most special days of this holiday season.
* Look ahead each week and try to schedule in days/nights that you know you will want to indulge and plan to make the other days balance out your week.
Even though the holiday season comes but once a year, January 2nd will be here in the blink of an eye. Enjoy the season, but realize that you can control how youwill look and feel when the new year is upon us. As with all things, balance will be the key to avoiding the 7-10 pound weight gain that can so easily happen if we let it. Follow these simple suggestions and you will NOT have to make losing weight your new year’s resolution!