>With the holiday season upon us, our homes are filled with the goodness of family and friends, and the goodies of homemade baking, holiday feasts and cocktails.
Time is maybe a bit more scarce with the shopping, wrapping, travelling and parties, but if you want to avoid the extra weight gain this season while still enjoying your holidays, the key is to have a plan of attack, or a holiday safety net.
Step one is to stick to your daily nutrition regime of eating several small meals per day and be sure to have a feeding before heading to the festivities. This will help keep the cravings under control.
If you know that you have a holiday party and that you may want to indulge, here are some other tips:
1. Be a good guest and bring your own plate of baking – a healthier, lower fat and sugar version of your favorite holiday treats. This will allow for you to be more in control of what you are eating, as well as doing your host and the other guests a favor. If you really want to step up your game as a guest, volunteer to show up early and help to actually prepare the meals being served.
2. If you know you are going to indulge, keep your day carb-free. The theory behind this is that without the carbohydrates throughout the day, your liver and muscles will want to soak up what they can when you feed them the carbs, which translates into less of a spill-over effect.
3. Avoid the sugary and fatty cocktails and opt for red wine with some sparkling water. This will save you a ton of calories, while giving you a nice phytonutrient boost. If you aren’t one for the vino, stick to light drinks like vodka tonics or rum and diet coke and keep the drinks to a minimum overall.
4. Have an intense weight-training session an hour before heading to the feast. Your muscles will be starving and your body will be better able to utilize what you put into it rather than be forced to store it.
5. A real no-brainer here – watch the portions! Have one, instead of two, three, four, or five! Also, when filling your plate, fill it mostly with veggies and avoid extra sauces and gravies.
6. For your training during this busy time, if you can fit in 3 one-hour long sessions per week, keep them intense and focus on a whole body superset workout followed by some metabolic work. If you can only fit in 30 minutes, keep the workouts challenging and perform full body circuits.
7. Stay hydrated! This will help you stay full, which will help you avoid the temptations put in front of you. It helps too if you wear your more snug clothes to the parties. You won’t want to overindulge or you will SHOW the bulge.
8. If you don’t have time to actually get to a gym with the kids home for the holidays and people visiting, get everyone involved in some winter fun activities like snowshoeing, skiing or even tobogganing (you have to walk back up those hills though, no lifts allowed).
9. Just say, NO! This is always an option. You are not being rude if you don’t want to eat what everyone else may be eating and there is certainly no law against avoiding gingerbread cookies and peanut butter balls!
10. If you are the one who is travelling, just be sure to pack your meals and your workout gear. A really great thing to do when you are travelling as well is to check ahead of time for the locations and hours of the local gyms and supermarkets where you will be staying. This will ensure you have things set-up and planned before you even get there.
With these tips put into place over the holiday season, there is really no reason why sticking to your goals is not achievable. Why ruin your efforts up to this point by sabotaging yourself?
You now have some tools to help you avoid a huge weight gain over the season, so save yourself the grief and prepare, plan and implement! Happy Holidays!