With the cold weather and the holidays upon us, it can be easy to start losing motivation and start falling off track with our goals. Both Thanksgiving and Christmas are well known for feasts and typically, not the healthiest. On average, people can gain anywhere from 7-10 pounds during the holiday season. Although it may not seem like a whole lot, those 7-10 pounds pack on a lot easier than they come off. In order to minimize, or even prevent, any weight gain it is important to start building good habits now in so that by the time the holidays come around, you already have your set routine.
1. Use Intermittent Fasting to Your Advantage
A great tool, or habit to start, for weight loss/weight management is intermittent fasting. There is a lot of information on the benefits and what it is but, in short, it is pushing your breakfast time until much later on in the day. Some people like to follow the 16:8 rule which consists of only an 8 hour window, of your choosing, allowed for eating, and the other 16 hours you are fasting and only drinking water. You can also push your first meal until 6-8 hours after you wake up. Typically, holiday dinners happen later on in the evening. With intermittent fasting, you will have all of your required calories available to you at dinner. This allows room for treats and other foods that you otherwise wouldn’t typically have on a day to day basis. Of course, it can be easy to splurge so it is important to keep everything in moderation.
2. Start Working Out Now
Thanksgiving is just over a month away, and Christmas and New Year’s are more than a month. Getting your workout routine down now will make sticking to it a lot easier as it will already be a part of your day to day. I would suggest still getting some sort of workout it during the holidays. Get the whole family to go do something active. Not only are you working out but, you are still spending quality time with your family. Perhaps going for a walk or going to the park and during the snowy months, go sledding. Going up the hill over and over again is an amazing workout. Find ways to keep your workouts fun for you. During the cold months it can be easy to lose motivation and be discouraged by the monotony of exercise.
3. Be Honest with Yourself About the Holidays.
Realistically, there are only a handful of days that are actually celebrated. (This may vary on religion). If you only celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, that’s three days of celebration. Yes, there are a lot of parties and celebrations to attend during this season, but you need to treat those as you would any other celebration that you attend throughout the year. The "Holidays" aren't a license to throw all your hard work and goals out the window. Here are a few tips to help you get through all the parties and celebrations this season has to offer.
- Keep this top of mind all season long. It's not about the food, it's about gathering with friends and family. Don't make food the focal point of your celebration.
- Eat a healthy snack before you go to the party. This will help you avoid temptations and poor food choices.
- Add an extra workout in the day of your party or celebration. This will give you a little wiggle room if you decide to splurge.
- Be smart about your alcoholic beverage choice. Steer clear of the calorie dense egg nog and instead opt for a drink that has fewer calories.
(Image credit- Caloriesecrets.net)
Not only will building habits now help you through the holidays but, it will generate momentum which will carry over to the next year and get you off to a great start.
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