Survive Holiday Weight Gain and Stay Lean in The New Year


Well time is speeding up, the year is winding down and we are celebrating the holiday season and in less than 2 weeks a brand new year! Now, I know that many of you have walked away from “New Year’s Resolutions”, for various reasons (the biggest being commitment and accountability), but what if you were given some awesome tools to help you stay on track and focused on your goals while still enjoying the holidays festivities?

Here are some of my favorite tips that I give my clients to help them enjoy the holidays and not stress when its time for their monthly fitness assessment (body fat, weight and measurements). Use one or all and Cheers to the Holidays!

You know by now that one of the most effective ways to lose weight, decrease body fat or gain muscle is to engage and maintain your weekly workouts. Strength training as well as cardio is the best way to burn off those extra holiday sweets, keep your metabolism fired up and keep your mind clear and focused on you! If time is a factor, shoot for 30 minute weight workouts and 30 minutes of cardio 4-6 days a week. To burn off those extra calories, kick up your exercise. If you exercise for 30 minutes a day, increase it to 45 minutes. If you exercise three times a week, move it up to five times a week.

Exercise is a great way to burn those extra calories you may be taking in around this time of year. Remember those iced reindeer cookies you had with lunch? So, here are some ideas to get you moving:

  • Start your day strong and healthy, not with garbage cereal or a sugar filled coffee drink.
  • If you have a stationary bicycle or treadmill at home, dust it off and put it in front of the television or stereo for some background entertainment while you’re exercising. Why not watch your favorite television show and exercise at the same time?
  • Go to the library and get a book on tape or CD and listen to it while you exercise.
  • Haven’t used your gym-pass in a while? Hire a personal trainer to teach you effective calorie burning techniques, or join that kickboxing class you’ve always wanted to try.
  • Go for a morning or evening walk alone or with a friend.
  • Put a little kick in your cleaning technique. Fire up some music and dance while you clean. Who ever knew cleaning could be so fun?
  • Have bad knees or other joints? Don’t worry since water aerobics or swimming is your answer! The water prevents your weight bearing down on the joints and is an effective way to burn calories.
  • Stay active. Exercise with your family and go for a walk or jog outside! All gyms as well as Personal Trainers will be able to train you throughout the holidays and are there to help you stay accountable. So, check your local gym class schedule or contact a Certified Personal Trainer and stay on track!

*If you haven’t exercised in at least 6-months, check with your doctor first before starting.

new-year-healthy-foodsWhile you can’t control every situation, you can control how much food goes into your mouth. If you are constantly bombarded with holiday parties and displays of desserts or candies you can still effectively help prevent overeating and weight gain.

There’s a new way of modifying your eating and it’s called a One-a-Day. This one-a-day method allows you one small serving of cookies or “allows” yourself one small serving of a cookie or piece of candy each day during the holiday season.

Remember that you may have to compensate for it later in the day by reducing your total caloric intake or by burning a few extra calories while exercising. This can be done by running in place, cardio or jumping jacks. If you aren’t confronted with holiday foods that day, just skip your one-a-day but don’t compensate and double-up on your serving the next day. So, what do you think of this type of method?

Before you go to a holiday party, eat a healthy snack such as a serving of your favorite fruit, fat-free yogurt or even a handful of nuts. When you arrive at the party, you won’t be craving hors d’oeuvres.

If you’re invited to a potluck, prepare and bring a health dish to share, instead of a high fat, high calorie, high sugary dish. This will insure that regardless of the other foods that are being offered, you will be guaranteed to eat at least one healthy food and if possible, encourage others to join you.

Curbing your appetite:

  • Start your day strong and healthy, not with garbage cereal or a sugar filled coffee drink.
  • Drink a glass of water before every meal. It will help fill you up faster and help you eat less.
  • Slow down. Eat slower and taste your food. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to recognize how much is in your stomach. It is a good idea to take a break after you eat to lessen the temptation to go for another serving!
  • Choose to eat clean 80-90% of the time. Eat more protein, vegetables, fruit and healthy fats like nuts and seeds. A handful of almonds or a freshly sliced apple is a great snack to curb your hunger!
  • Don’t go anywhere hungry. Try to arrive at any holiday parties having already eaten something healthy. That way you won’t be too prone to digging into high calorie party foods. Also, bring a healthy option to a holiday party!
  • Maintain portion control. Pay attention to how much you put on your plate. Use smaller plates when possible. Moderation is one of the most important elements in weight control, especially at holiday parties!

Many times you feel forced to eat foods because people keep putting it in front of you. Learn to say no politely, such as “No thank you, I’ve had enough. Everything was delicious”, or “I couldn’t eat another bite. Everything tasted wonderful”. You’ll find saying no isn’t so hard to do after all.

This holiday season strive to stay on track with your health and fitness goals, and avoid going into the new year with any additional baggage (weight gain). Make the next 2 weeks a goal to maintain your current weight and together we’ll work on the new year to make it your best year! Wishing you all a very joyous, peaceful, Fit-Mas and Happy New Year!

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About Author

Lisa Lorraine Taylor

I’ve been in the fitness, health and nutrition field for over 18 years and have been certified for 18 years. I live in the beautiful city of Ocean Beach, California. My goal is to assist and reach people who are ready to make a positive change in their lives by providing various types of fitness programs. See my profile page for more information!

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