Don’t Let This Holiday Season “Weigh” You Down: 10 tips on staying trim over the holiday season

By Jeff Ransome BSc.Kin. CSCS, ACE(PT) ACSM(ES) FaCT

The holiday season is a time for rejoicing, getting together with family and friends which the average person knows involves a lot of extra eating and drinking. Then New Years approaches and you can’t understand why you’re making a new hole in your belt or why the stitching down the back of the skirt are a little more visable. This is normally followed by long hours on the treadmill or doing double spin classes while on a quick fix diet.

This year you’re going to have a plan, without avoiding any seasonal festivities. You’ll still be able to have a couple of drinks, sample the baking and even a second trip to the buffet table. The key is moderation. The unwanted calories you take in on a daily bases are accumilative. Rememeber, if your caloric intake excedes your caloric output. The unused calories are stored as fat.

Following these 10 simple rules you’ll enjoy the new year without the exrta weight.

  1. Be prepared. Your co-workers and business associates will graciously want to share their guilty stash of treats. Keep your own stash of healthy treats availabe so you won’t be tempted to overindulge when the hunger kicks in.
  2. When attending a holiday function. Eat a healthy meal before you head out. By doing this you’ll be less tempted to go overboard and eat everything in sight.
  3. At parties, scout out healthy food options first rather than a grabing the first unhealthy snack on the table. For example, raw vegetable sticks (without dip), fruit pieces, quality cold cuts etc. Then later move on to some of the less healthy offerings. You will be less likely to overindulge on these foods if you have already filled-up on some of the healthier items. Yet, you will not feel deprived or unsatisfied.
  4. If you stray – try a “brisk” work-out as soon as possible following the insulin raising incident. Exercise reduces insulin and starts your fat burning mechanisms.
  5. Before you go for seconds, ask yourself, “Am I hungry because I see food I like, or because my body actually needs nutrition”. Listen to your stomach and eat until you’re no longer hungry, not until you’re full. Keep in mind; it takes the brain an extra 15minutes to register fullness. That means the average person continues eating 15 minutes longer than they need to.
  6. Don’t leave bowls of chocolate, candy or nuts set on kitchen counters or places where it’s all too easy to dip in each time you pass. Serve nuts in the shell. Cracking them takes time, and stops you from taking handfuls at a time.
  7. Be assertive. Don’t feel as though you have to say yes to everyone that offers you food and drink. Do not let yourself be bullied into eating something that you really don’t want.
  8. When running errands or shopping, be sure to pack some healthy snacks to have on-hand. Then after you work-up a big appetite, you won’t be tempted to grab something at the mall food court or the fast food restaurant on the way home.
  9. Don’t linger around the buffet or the kitchen. If you loiter in close proximity to all the guilty temptations, you’ll struggle to keep from unconsciously dipping in the sweets.
  10. Last and most important. Maintaine your fitness routine. Not prioratizing your workouts will undoubtly double your chances for weight gain. 

Don’t let this January become a sobering reality. Remember the 10 rules and stay active and if you find yourself losing control, consider this. The average holiday evening meal with orderves, 1 cup of eggnog, 1 alcholic beverage, main course and dessert consists of aproximatly 2000 calories. That’s a 9 hour walk or a 4 hour run to burn that off.

For more information on fitness or weight loss contact Jeff Ransome at Sports Performance Centres


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