Does the average person really gain eight pounds over the holidays? Whether it's one pound or eight, I do know that we generally eat more sweets, exercise less and eat out more often due to the hustle and bustle of the season - and that can add up on the scale.
This leaves most of us feeling tired and off our otherwise-healthy schedule. If you're a person who has gained over the holidays in years past, these tips may be helpful to you, making this holiday season one you'll remember for the right reasons!
- Stay the course. Think of the holiday the same way you would think of any other days of the year! Continue to plan, pack and prepare healthy meals throughout the day. This way, when you have to stay at work late or take part in holiday festivities, you will be capable of making healthier choices and not overindulging.
- Keep moving! Don’t skip workouts altogether. You will be sorry come the first of the year if you do! If you don’t have the same amount of time available, simply make your workouts shorter and increase the intensity! Burning off the extra calories is essential to holiday happiness (and a happy waistline), so keep the frequency of workouts the same, the duration shorter and the intensity higher! This will also help you manage the stress of the season.
- Water it down. Festive cocktails are popular this time of year. There is really no reason not to enjoy this part of the holiday. But, dehydration can affect your health, energy levels and metabolism. Make sure you arrive at happy hour well hydrated. Drink lots of water throughout the day and, once you begin drinking, match your cocktails with water drink for drink. This will not only fill you up and help you drink less, but it will slow down the absorption of alcohol, leaving you with your decision-making brain function in tact!
- Pre-game. Before heading out to a holiday gathering where you know food will be tempting you at every turn, EAT! Eat a healthy meal or snack that includes a protein and complex carbohydrate and is high in fiber. An example would be a grilled chicken breast on a whole wheat wrap with roasted red peppers, spinach and avocado slices. Now, when you show up, you can mingle first instead of heading for the buffet!
- Prioritize and set goals. This one is my favorite. If you set goals before the season gets out of control, you will be much happier and healthier in the New Year. Put your health first. Don’t fall into the holiday trap. Make wise choices that are in alignment with your health goals.
Do you want to lose weight? Run faster? Have more energy? Sleep better? Once you know what your goals are for this season, you can focus on them every day and be successful in 2016!