The holidays are a time of friends and family, but they are also a time of weight gain. You can avoid holiday weight gain if you just apply a few simple rules to stay in shape over the season. Just a few little changes can make a big difference.
Avoid the prolonged eating. The problem with eating habits over the holidays is that people just change their eating habits for too long. Instead of enjoying a big Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Day meal with some goodies, they eat more than normal for days at a time. It’s hard to stick to your diet when there is a Tupperware full of cookies that sits on the counter for a week at a time. Here are the keys to avoiding weight gain over the holidays with regards to food.
Remember that a holiday is one day. Here is what I mean. A day like Thanksgiving only last for 24 hours. Your diet needs to remember that too. It’s OK to enjoy a home cooked meal and have a piece of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. This one day won’t derail your exercise and diet routine. It will be a mere blip on the radar if you go right back to work the next day. Where you get in trouble is when you great the entire week of Thanksgiving like you have no diet or exercise rules. Taking a week off and eating poorly will produce a bad result. Earn your Thanksgiving dinner by sticking to your plan through Wednesday and getting back to it on Friday. Don’t worry about one day off. That doesn’t mean you should go crazy on Thanksgiving and eat everything in sight. It just means you can savor the season a little.
Get out and do something. The holidays are a time of gathering for many people but they are also a time of days off for many, though not all, people. You can choose to use that time off in any number of ways. One way is to sit on the couch and watch TV. Another way is to do something active. Guess which one will allow you to maintain your weight over the holidays? Here’s the plan. Do something fun on the holiday that will burn some calories. How about a friendly backyard game of football, a walk in the woods, or a trip to the local cross country ski trail? Do something that you normally don’t have time for on a normal busy weekend. You have this day off so use it to your advantage. Who knows, you might even burn off that pumpkin pie and keep your net calories right where they are supposed to be.
This is all you have to do over the holiday. Keep your enjoyment of holiday food down to one day at a time and do something active. You will turn the normal 30 days of holiday habits into 2 or 3 days of change. That will greatly reduce or eliminate the impact of the holiday on your body. If you can manage that, you will almost certainly be able to avoid holiday weight gain.