Did you know that the average weight gain from Thanksgiving to New Years is 7 to 12 pounds? By January 1st, are your clothes starting to feel tight or even downright uncomfortable? Well, here are some ways to avoid the holiday weight gain and keep you feeling fit and strong through the end of the year.
The most important point to keep in mind is that our usual routine is disrupted between November and December which throws off our workout routine as well. However, this does not give us the excuse to cut out exercise completely. You may have limited free time but remember that something is always better than nothing.
If you are unable to workout 5 days a week, at least get in 3 days of doing something. We can all find 10 or 20 minutes here and there for our health. Yes, 10 or 20 minutes of cardio or strength training will help to keep you feeling strong and looking lean through this time of year.
Those 10 or 20 minutes you spend moving will keep your body burning calories all day long! Your exercise routine will also serve as a wonderful stress relief from your hectic holiday schedule. You may have to rearrange the time of day that you exercise. Perhaps your usual time is after work, but you are likely busy with parties and holiday shopping in the evening. Try working out in the morning at least through the end of the year to help keep you on track.
Nutrition is the second key component to avoiding holiday weight gain. It is alright (and essential) to indulge a little bit with holiday treats; but moderation is key. To avoid overindulging at holiday gatherings, do not starve yourself all day in an attempt to save up your calories. This will only cause you to overeat high calorie party foods. Instead, eat several small, healthy meals throughout the day. Also be sure to eat something nutritious prior to the holiday event to leave you less tempted when you arrive.
The final component to staying strong and healthy is sleep. Sufficient sleep will help your body and mind repair and refresh for the next day. It will give you the energy to continue training during this hectic time.
One last motivational point…. those people who remain physically active during the holidays not only avoid the dreaded weight gain, but they feel more energized, avoid illness, and maintain a level appetite to avoid temptation.
Good luck and Happy Holidays!