How is it that Thanksgiving has already come and gone? Doesn't it feel like Halloween was just yesterday? Before we know it, it's going to be Christmas, then New Year's...I better stop before I get ahead of myself!
With the holidays comes lots of special occasions and happy moments. Parties, get-together's, out-of-state family visitors, and of course...presents!
However, along with all those parties often comes food. And with lots of special holiday treats laying around comes over-eating and...gulp...holiday weight gain.
If you're anything like me, your will-power goes down the drain the second you lay eyes on your favorite holiday dish or dessert. And you probably think "Hey! It's the holidays! I can splurge!"
Which is true...you should splurge. But there are a few simple rules to follow when splurging that can help keep those extra pounds in check.
1.) Never go to a party hungry. Have a healthy snack or light meal before you go. This will keep you from devouring everything in sight.
2.) Choose one treat you want to indulge in and skip the rest. Not crazy about Aunt Ida's meatballs, but you eat them anyway because they're right in front of you? Don't. Save your calories for something extra sumptuous, like your mom's double-chocolate fudge cheesecake that she only makes at Christmas. (But limit yourself to one slice.)
3.) Along those lines, eat slowly! If you savor every bite, and put down your fork in between bites, you'll walk away feeling more satisfied and less likely to go for seconds. If you do think you're still hungry, wait 20 minutes before refilling your plate. It takes your brain that long to realize its full. Considering the average American meal only lasts 10 minutes, that makes for a lot of over-eating!
4.) Put your workouts into your daily planner, on your calendar, etc. Yes, I know the holidays get crazy, and exercise is often the first to get bumped from your to-do list. Don't do that! Get up and go first thing in the morning. You're more likely to skip the gym if you put your workout at the end of the day. Set your alarm and lay your clothes out the night before to save time. Plan an activity you enjoy, like going for an early morning hike to watch the sun rise, or try a class you've been curious about. New routines give you something to look forward to. And remember, you don't have to spend hours sweating on a treadmill. Little 5 minutes bouts of exercise throughout the day add up to calories burned. So take the stairs, go for a walk at lunch, and power walk around the mall. Every little bit helps.
5.) Get a partner. Enlist a friend, your spouse, a sibling, or a relative as your exercise buddy. You can even make a friendly bet, like whoever maintains their weight over the holidays has to treat the other to a manicure after the season is over. Little competitions give you something to look forward to and makes it fun.
Remember, the most important thing to do is enjoy yourself. The holidays are a special time of year...there's no need to spend them stressed out about your weight. So have fun, stay healthy, and happy holidays!