Workout Wednesday: Holiday Weight Gain

The holidays are approaching and before you know it you have been to every holiday party under the sun, you have skipped your workouts and you feel more sluggish than ever. Somewhere in between Thanksgiving and Christmas some of you will say, “I’m going to start working out January 1st” or “My New Year’s resolution is to lose 10lbs.”

The next couple of months can be particularly challenging for those trying to watch and/or lose weight. Extra calories are lurking around every corner. All these extra calories add up, and if you are like most Americans, you will put on a pound or two by New Year’s Day. I know what you are saying, “So what's the harm in a little holiday weight gain, especially if it's just a pound”? According to researchers at the National Institutes of Health, most Americans never lose the weight they gain during the winter holidays. The pounds add up year after year, making holiday weight gain an important factor in adult obesity.

Get a jump start this year and begin using the tools I have provided below to avoid holiday weight gain.

#1. Stay Active: Keep your workouts on your schedule. Don’t let shopping for presents or holiday parties take the place of you burning those calories. On days that you really lack motivation or simply do not have time for your complete exercise routine, commit to do just 10 minutes of exercise. You'll probably end up doing more than that once you get started. Even if you only end up completing 10 minutes, that is still a lot better than zero minutes.

#2. Don’t Arrive Hungry: Have a nutritious snack or a meal before you head out to the holiday party. As I have said before – once you are hungry, you will make a bad food decision. Our stomach will over-ride
anything you “intended” on eating. If you work in an office setting be prepared for the deluge of guilty treats your co-workers and other business associates will graciously want to share. Stash your own healthy snacks in your desk so you won't be tempted to overindulge when your grumbling stomach demands a 3:00
snack time.

#3. Focus On Socializing: Remember one of the great things about the holidays is spending time with friends and family.

#4. Limit Alcohol: Avoid drinking too much alcohol at holiday parties. It's not just about calories but about control. If you drink a lot - you won't have as much control over what you eat.

#5 Limit 'Tastes' While Cooking:  If you do a lot of cooking during the holidays - crack down on all those "tastes." People lose their appetites when they have been cooking because they have been eating the whole time. Instead of tasting mindlessly every few minutes, limit yourself to two small bites of each item pre- and post-seasoning. Just put the spoon in and taste a little bit- it is not grounds for a big scoop.

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