We are less than two weeks away from Thanksgiving, which signifies the official start of the holiday season. That means people will be spending, partying and eating way too much. Then as the New Year rolls around most people will vow to lose weight and get in shape.
So, I suggest we get proactive. I’m not saying you should forgo the great food over the holidays. Let’s face it, the food is one of the best parts of the holidays. Just don’t over indulge. In order to do that you need a plan. I’ve come up with a list of seven things you can do to avoid the holiday weight gain.
1. Eat a good breakfast. Don’t make the mistake of saving your calories until Thanksgiving dinner. You end up starving yourself and then eat way too much. If you eat a good breakfast and some nutritious snacks throughout the day you won’t be starved at dinner and you will eat less.
2. Decide your “must haves”. What are your absolute favorite indulgences that you cannot do without? Is it sweet potato pie? Macaroni and cheese? Fried chicken? Whatever it is, make the decision that you will indulge on those foods. Knowing that you will be able to have it without the guilt eliminates the desire to overindulge. Most people tend to binge eat on foods they feel are off limits.
3. Lighten up where you can. To make allowances for your indulgences, cut back in other areas. Put more veggies on your plate- instead of starches, drink water instead of sweetened beverages, and eat on smaller plates. Most importantly, avoid going back for seconds.
4. Make sure your meal is balanced. In most households people are just loading their plates with everything that has been prepared with no regard for balance. I know in my family it’s not unusual for someone to have potatoes, corn, cornbread dressing, and mac and cheese on one plate. That’s way too many carbs in one sitting. Ensure you have carbs, proteins and fats on your plate. Just by adding proteins and fats it’s going to keep you full longer and keep you from craving more sugars and starches later.
5. Don’t eat everything just because you can. Just because it’s all there in front of you doesn’t mean you have to eat everything. Only get what you need or just get the foods you really want.
6. Skip the leftovers. One of the biggest problems with holiday eating, especially Thanksgiving, is the amount of food that is left over. As a result, people are eating heavy meals throughout the weekend. If you’re hosting the dinner, make sure you give your guests food they can take home so you’re not left with all the excess.
7. Get in some activity – I know it’s a holiday, but that doesn’t mean you should take a holiday from your workout. This is the day you absolutely need to hit the gym or the park for a quick run. In fact, most gyms are open half the day on Thanksgiving. Even if you don’t get in a typical workout in the morning, you can at least take a brisk walk through your neighborhood after dinner. Grab a couple of family members you want to catch up with and take a couple of laps.
These are some simple, practical things you can do to be proactive and avoid excess weight gain. If you take the right steps and have a plan before the holidays begin, you will have less weight to lose in the New Year.
Of course, once the New Year kicks off, I have a plan to help you “Get Lean in 2015.” My Get Fit FAST – 21 Day Jumpstart Program will kick off on Monday, January 5th.
I will also be teaching a Tabata Bootcamp beginning Wednesday, January 7th. I’d love to have you join us.
Registration information for both events is posted on my website under Upcoming Events.
Question: Which one of these tips do you think will be most helpful to you?