Yes, it that’s time of year again. That time between Thanksgiving and New Years when the dreaded pounds creep up from all the leftover Halloween candy, Thanksgiving feasts, and holiday parties. How can we maintain all that healthy progress we’ve made throughout the year and avoid ending the year by gaining weight?
Check out these five helpful tips to stay fit and healthy during the most tempting time of the year:
1. Make realistic commitments. Many of us over estimate the number of days we can exercise each week. When we over commit we often fall short of our goals. This can cause us to feel disappointed with ourselves and may ultimately lead to us simply giving up. Really think about how much time you have in your weekly schedule and come up with a number that is attainable.
2. Do shorter workout times if you must. Most exercise classes run about an hour, but there are alternative options that are ideal when your time is limited. You’d be surprised at how many calories you can torch in a shorter yet more intense workout. Also, with shorter workouts you may be able to exercise more days per week.
3. Treat your workouts like a doctor’s appointment. Many of us book our doctor’s appointments weeks or even months in advance and we make sure to keep those appointments a high priority. On the other hand, our workouts always seem to take a back seat to other priorities. Consider your workout like a doctor’s appointment; after all, it is for your health! Schedule everything else around your workout and keep your workouts a high priority.
4. Make healthy food choices. I consider this one of the toughest times of the year for making healthy food choices. Like many of us, I love food, and even more I love all those special holiday treats. I don’t believe in cutting out treats altogether, but I truly believe in “all things in moderation”. The question is how do we moderate those great tasting foods and treats?
At parties, I always start out with the fruits, veggies, and salads (yes, there are always these options but they are sometimes hard to notice!). By starting out with healthy food first, I am more full by the time I get to the more caloric foods. I also use a smaller plate for the more caloric foods so I don’t load up on them too much. Another strategy I use is to keep healthy snacks on hand throughout the day so I am not starving at mealtime.
5. Watch your beverage consumption. Let’s face it, at parties and family gatherings the cocktails are flowing. Cocktails are half the fun, after all, (and a great way to deal with those annoying relatives). But, all kidding aside, enjoy yourself in moderation and be consciences of how much you’re consuming. It’s easy to lose track of how much we consume and these calories can add up quickly.
We all fall off track every once in awhile, but one thing you should always keep in mind, we can’t always be perfect so if you accidently over indulge at one event, just make healthier choices over the next few days to balance it out!
Menlo Park resident Ilissa Louth (pictured above, purple top) is owner and instructor of ShiraOne Fitness. She offers personal training, bootcamp lite classes and TRX training.