The holiday season is a difficult time for people to continue with their healthy diet and exercise regimen. With the cold weather, cozy indoors, holiday gatherings and delicious food, weight gain can happen to anyone thanks to a little festivity and a lot of indulgence. Even though it’s hard to resist temptations around you, there are some helpful tips to avoid holiday weight gain.
Exercise In The Morning
Exercising in the morning can help ensure better behavior all day long. Studies have shown that morning workouts can increase mood, metabolism, energy and feelings of accomplishment.
You’ll be more likely to get out of bed and begin your workout if you perform exercises you like. Whether it’s jogging, yoga, or swimming—partake in a workout you enjoy to increase the chances of sticking to a routine.
Get Rest at Night
With all of the holiday madness, sometimes it’s hard to get the recommended amount of sleep. This can bring added stress and exhaustion, making it difficult to want to exercise. Be sure you stick to as much of a normal routine as possible and get 6-8 hours of sleep every night.
Avoid Cutting Calories
Limiting food intake during the day so you can indulge at an event later in the evening only sets you up for failure. Why? You’re hungry! Skipping meals can not only slow down your metabolism, but it can also cause you to overeat later. Eat small, healthy meals throughout the day.
Well, kind of. Banning all indulgences can lead to feelings of withdrawal, which in turn, can lead to a binge later on. Try satisfying your cravings in small portions rather than over indulging in one sitting.
Divert Your Attention
Many people go to holiday parties thinking about all the delicious food that’s going to be available. Take your mind off of the food and focus your attention on the company, the conversation, the activities, etc. Try to eat beforehand or bring your own snacks, and whatever you do, don’t stand next to the food table.
We don’t always think about the hidden calories in adult beverages. Beers and mixed drinks usually have upwards of 100 calories which add up throughout the evening.
Not only are calories of concern, but if you have several drinks, you may not have as much control over what you eat. If you feel out of place without a drink, grab a water concealed in a cup similar to everyone else’s.
Keep a Food Diary
Keeping a food diary can motivate you to stick to a meal plan within your calorie allowance because it increases your awareness of what, how much, and why you are eating. Track everything you consume, including those holiday treats, and you may be surprised at how much it prevents overindulgence.
Check the app store on your cell phone—generally there are many food diary apps that help make tracking your meals simple.
By working out consistently, you will fall into a routine that prevents comments like, “I will start exercising later. Maybe for my New Year’s resolution.”
Creating a ritual is the key to forming a habit. You might create a plan where every morning you wake up, eat a small breakfast, go to the gym, shower and drive to work. The idea is to get your mind and body so used to including a workout in your routine that you no longer have to think about it—it’s just what you do.
Get a Workout Partner
A workout partner can help with motivation and accountability. Treat your exercise plans as an important appointment or meeting you can’t miss. That way, even on days you don’t feel like working out, you’re still obligated to show up.
A little friendly competition will also keep things exciting and allow you to push yourself harder with each workout. Words of encouragement and a can-do attitude can go a long way when it comes to your fitness goals, so find someone who can push you to try harder in a friendly way.
To switch things up and add a challenge, try a group fitness class together.
How do you stay motivated and in shape during the holiday season? Please share in the comments!