Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s–it’s what we in the nutrition world refer to as the Bermuda Triangle of weight gain. A time when your health practices take the back seat and all excuses fly. Does this trap sound familiar to you?
Let me tell you a little secret: you can still enjoy the holidays without falling victim to the excessive amount of sugar, alcohol, holiday treats and indulgence in general. Never thought it was possible, did you? I’m about to tell you how.
Here are the facts:
- The average person gains 5 to 10 pounds throughout the holiday season.
- It can take 2.5+ months to lose this much weight (at 1-2 lbs. per week)…and that’s only if you work for it!
- Losing weight often takes double the time it takes to gain…yikes.
Most people adopt the mindset that they will “let themselves go” during the holidays and worry about getting back in shape afterwards. And then one, two, three months go by and nothing changes. You may find that as the years go by you continue to get heavier for this exact reason.
Your best bet to maintain your figure and feel great about yourself along the way is to avoid the holiday weight gain altogether. So, how are you supposed to do that?
Follow these 5 recommendations to avoid holiday weight gain. Make this year your best!
- Limit your alcohol intake to 3 nights a week, and give yourself a 3-drink limit on these nights. Plan your party nights wisely so you wake up feeling fresh and energized the day after–it’s SO worth it.
- Stay on top of your exercise routine, and consider getting more aggressive with it this time of year. Plan your workouts ahead of time and put them on your calendar. This way, you’re already committed and there’s no excuse to skip for happy hour, etc. You’ll be motivated to drink less on your nights out when you know that 6am alarm is going off and it’s time to hit the gym!
- Similar to alcohol, limit your sugar/dessert intake to just 2 nights a week. I know, it sounds daunting–but it’s not! You can still go out, enjoy a nice meal and a nice evening, and say no to dessert. Having dessert twice a week is indulgent as is; keep reminding yourself that the payoff is so much greater than the few minutes of pleasure you get from eating dessert.
- Do a cleanse. I’m doing one right now for the same reason! Results will be best when you can make it happen before or during the holiday season, and everyone’s got just 8 days to carve out time for this. I love my cleanse because it’s deprivation-free, frees you from food and/or sugar addiction, reduces cravings and eliminates belly bloat. Not only is it a great way to shed some pounds before the holidays, it will motivate you to maintain the awesome results and keep you in check during the holidays. It will leave you feeling great and you’ll find that you’re much less tempted to indulge in holiday treats!
- Make vegetables a priority. This time of year you’re bombarded with cheese plates, appetizer trays, finger sandwiches, cookies, cakes, pies, candy, chips, dip, booze, etc. Because of this, it’s easy to forget about your nutrition. Who needs nutritious food when you can eat free food everywhere you go? Right?! Wrong! Giving into the high-calorie, low-nutrient foods will send you on a downward spiral and leave you feeling crummy…you don’t have time for that. At home, every day, and especially before you go out, fill up with lots of nutritious green vegetables. This will crowd out your cravings for all of the junk and set you up for success in the face of temptation!