The holidays are never easy for those trying to maintain or lose weight. Never ever. You’re typically surrounded by family shoving food in your face like ham and cookies. We’ve created a guide that you should follow to weather this tumultuous season. Let’s stay on track!
- Exercise or MOVE 30 minutes a day. Minimum. That sounds like a lot. It’s not. Walk the dog, take a brisk walk round the neighborhood, scrub the floors, hop on the treadmill or elliptical. It is worth it.
- Limit yourself to 2-3 treats a week. This plays a big part in maintaining all of your progress. Don’t binge on treats all the time, it’s about moderation.
- Strength train 2-3 times a week. Whether that means getting on the floor and doing core work, picking up weights, or using machines in a gym facility, get your muscles working. Keep up the toning and strength work. We want to keep burning calories after our workout!
- Resist temptation most of the time. Say that pack of oreos or that ice cream sundae is looking fabulous. Try to resist as much as possible, but again, have a treat now and then. When you resist the cookies, supplement it with something else like banana and peanut butter, greek yogurt, crackers and peanut butter, or fruit. Still tasty, but tremendously better for maintaining your progress.
- Get your friends and family in on the exercise. Think of how funny a plank or push up contest would be with all the folks. Get people to go for walks or jogs with you. Do a 15-minute timed abs routine with your cousins or siblings. Create family time around something other than food–and make it fun. Think how hilarious it would be to see your dad playing Just Dance.
- Look at ingredient labels. If it has anything like “high fructose corn syrup” on it, STAY AWAY.
- Eat breakfast. A simple simple way to control your metabolism and eating for the entire rest of the day. Not very hungry? Just have some greek yogurt and nuts, eggs on whole wheat toast, or a smoothie. Just to get the metabolism started and preventing a binge-fest later.
- Control your portion size.We eat with our eyes and then we feel bad if we leave food on our plate. Break that habit and get small servings to start. You can always get more if you’re still hungry, right? Be smart about these choices. Use a smaller plate or bowl.
- Eat often and well. When our glucose levels drop, we usually scrounge for something to satiate it: cookies, chips, ice cream, etc. However, when we eat often throughout the day (every 2-3 hours), that doesn’t happen. Have carrots, fruit, and nuts around the house—easy fix.
- When you eat, just eat. Sounds weird, but if you eat while distracted, say, while watching television, you don’t pay attention to your food or how your body is responding to it. Take the time to eat and really enjoy the food. It’s a good meditation and you won’t overeat.
- Is it worth it? Look at that piece of unhealthy food. Is it worth it? Is the satisfaction going to last more than ten minutes? What about that feeling of progress with weight or lean muscle? Weigh your decisions (no pun intended). Then reward yourself with a smile and know you did the right thing.
So there you have it. Not too difficult to follow because you do get some cheats and treats every once in a while. It’s all about moderation. Be realistic, but don’t overdo it. Good cheer and good luck this holiday season!