Did you know that the average weight gain during the four week span from Thanksgiving to New Year’s is just under one pound? (According to a yearlong study of nearly 200 people published in The New England Journal of Medicine). Even though enjoying delicious holiday dishes might not increase your waistline by as much as you’d expect, calorie consciousness and staying active is still important.
To get December off on the right foot, here are a few tips to set yourself up for success:
Kim: Make a Fitness Plan
Getting in my 30-60 minutes of exercise 5-6 days a week has become an important part of my life. But like everyone else, during busy weeks it can be the first thing to go. Definitely not ideal – particularly in December!
So how do I stop this from happening? I read once that we’re far more likely to develop a good habit when we have cues to remind us what we should be doing. For me, my cue is my weekly fitness plan. On Sundays I scan my gym’s group fitness schedule and see how it aligns with my work week and personal plans. I figure out which times and classes fit best throughout the week, and then I schedule them right into my Outlook, as I would any important meeting (complete with the reminder alarm!).
No doubt these ‘cues’ help me stick to a regular fitness routine. As December gets going, I encourage you to devise your fitness plan in advance, set up your cues, and stay committed!
Holiday time is family and friends time, but for many of us it also a time of over indulgences with holiday parties, large meals, and sweet treats. If you are like me, many years I am tempted to say, “well let’s not worry about the eating and weight until January 1st”. That plan tends to backfire big time and I have seen many of my clients work weeks, months and maybe a whole year to get back on track with eating healthy and feeling good. Why not try things differently?
This could be the year where you splurge sensibly, enjoying some treats and start the new year off feeling great! The way to accomplish this is to create a plan for splurging. Here are some of my guidelines to start you off:
- During the holidays, up to two times a week, let one of your meals be a splurge meal.
- No guilt allowed, the point of a splurge is to take delight and feel good about partaking of whatever food you are about to enjoy.
- Eat mindfully, by going slow this will allow you to enjoy the food and to feel full with a smaller amount of food.
- On splurge days commit to increasing your exercise by 20 minutes, not because you will burn off the calories, but because it will make you feel good and get you back on track.