The Holidays are upon us! Thanksgiving, “The Eating Holiday” is the first bullet we needed to dodge when it comes to losing weight. Then we progress into December with Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years, not to mention the office parties, neighborhood cookie exchanges in Lake Bluff and multi-family celebrations. Trying to lose weight and enjoy the holidays is a huge task that could easily be torpedo with the first glass of eggnog and sugar cookie if you are not careful.
For many people these few weeks add up to complete diet disaster gaining more weight than losing it. On average, American’s gain seven pounds between Thanksgiving in November and New Year's day? If you are like me, I not only don’t want to gain the extra seven but I want to continue my journey to lose weight during that time.
Let’s look at some healthier 8 Weeks to Wellness style way to celebrate the Holidays and still have fun without giving yourself a spare tire around the waist for Christmas!
1. Stay Hydrated - The more water you drink the less calories you will eat. Staying hydrated is a sure way to not over indulge on food. I recommend 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water per day.
2. Fill Up on Protein - There’s no need to skip the holiday meals with friends and family. Just make sure to focus on eating quality protein. Think chicken, fish, seafood, turkey, beef and pork. (Try to choose free range hormone
free when possible) A side to that protein should be veggies instead of carbs. Scope out the choices ahead of time to make an educated decision of what to eat instead of mindless eating while mingling with friends.
3. Drink in Moderation - Alcohol binges on New Year's Eve can really be a mess if you are drinking calorie heavy beer and mixed drinks. Drink moderately and choose less harmful options when you can like red wine. You can still have fun without the extra 7 pounds! Remember the 2:2 Rule - 2 drinks twice a week.
4. Amp Up the Cardio - Don’t skip workout sessions during the Holidays. Why not up the intensity or duration
instead? You will surely have the time to get your cardio in and this can be a pretty effective counter measure should you stumble and over eat a bit. Even if you can only manage a half session,anything is better than doing NOTHING if you truly want to continue to lose weight instead of gaining it!
5. Have a Holiday Success Coach - I am here for you if you need a Holiday Success Coach. I will keep watch on your diet log and weigh you in each week, helping with good alternatives to the sneaking snacks that are sure to arrive as a “gift” from well meaning friends. I will also encouraging you to workout 3 times per week cardio and functional fitness. Your reward will be true health not only for the holidays but for life!
It's not the end of the world if you just maintain your weight over the holidays,but I know your true goal is to continue to lose weight so why not stick to the plan. If you keep these tips in mind and apply them the worst can be avoided. This will set you up perfectly for having the healthiest year of your life! There's no better gift you can give yourself for the New Year and beyond.