Let’s face it: it’s hard to stick to a healthy eating and exercise plan during the holidays. Everywhere we turn there are tempting foods and drinks—from treats at office parties to our own traditional family favorites. When you add in a busy schedule filled with shopping and get-togethers that make it tough to squeeze in exercise, you have a recipe for disaster as far as our scales are concerned.
The good news is that you really can get through the holidays without gaining weight. It will take some effort, but you will thank yourself a thousand times when January 1st rolls around and you have no regrets!
Your Goal: Maintenance
In order to greet the New Year without tipping the scale, it is wise to try to maintain your weight during the next few weeks instead of trying to lose. Remember: you want to enjoy the holidays, not be miserable from deprivation. This means that you will allow yourself occasional treats and splurges and keep the scale where it is rather than trying to actually decrease your weight.
Here are some tips to accomplish this:
- Don’t skip your workouts. Even moderate intensity workouts will help you maintain your current fitness level and boost your spirits! You will also be less likely to overeat if you have just sweated through a good workout!
- Eat breakfast. People who eat breakfast consume fewer calories throughout the day than those who skip this important meal. In addition, you will have ample energy to get through your day!
- Monitor your hunger. Never show up at a party or buffet super hungry—you will most certainly overeat. Drink water and have a protein-filled snack (such as nuts or cheese) before arriving. This will help you to have more self-control around the temptations.
- Watch your portion size. If you have an idea of how much food you are putting on your plate, you will be less likely to overdo it. Keep your portions to about the size of your palm.
- Deal quickly with leftovers. If you have unhealthy leftovers in your home, you are likely to indulge. Don’t leave them sitting around. Freeze them, give them away or toss them. It’s not worth the temptation!
- Check in with your future self. Every day, speak to yourself from the future—say, from January 1. Thank yourself for doing the tough work of self-discipline during these holiday weeks. You might say something like this:
“Thank you! I feel great! I’m no heavier than I was in November, I’ve stayed on track with my exercise, my energy is incredible and I’ve got the momentum to spend the rest of the winter getting in even better shape before spring gets here!”
You can survive the holidays with no added weight gain. Remember these tips and keep a vision of what you want to feel like on January 1st so you can hit the ground running in 2019. It’s going to be a great holiday season!
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