Simple Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain!
Well, we are officially only 1 week away from Christmas! Where did the time go this year? Anyways, during this time of the year, it is always important to remember that this should be a time to mentally unwind and enjoy some festivities with family and friends. Unfortunately, because of the on demand consumerism mentality that our current world has placed us in, it is very easy (VERY!) to get sidetracked by sacrificing some of our core values while rushing out on busy roads to get gifts, make events, getting the kids to a daycare/babysitter or show them fun activities while they are out of school and you still have to work in the middle of all of this while trying to handle our financial budgets.
Every year that passes, there are numerous studies done to research how much weight is gained during the holiday season-typically from Halloween to after New Years. Most studies support the evidence that the average weight gain among individuals in 7-10 lbs, but within the last several years, that amount has dramatically decreased to just 1 pound! Yes, just 1, so that isn't THAT BAD...right? I honestly wish it wasn't that bad because the fact of the matter is this; most people gain 1-2 lbs every year so adding in that 1 extra pound over the course of several years can lead to very serious health complications later on in our lives! With our nation facing a HUGE obesity epidemic that is only getting worse by the year (once again, thanks to consumerism and upgrades to technology), most overweight individuals will add on an additional 5 lbs over the holiday season! So, how do we fight this?
Honestly, the first step is taking a long hard look in the mirror and getting REAL with yourself! Nothing works unless you do! Motivational speakers and other gurus will be quick to supply (aka sell) you tips and shortcuts on how to improve your current position but the fact of the matter is this...you have to be willing to make sacrifices to achieve something of greater value! I know that that doesn't probably motivate you to get up and start being more active but one of my core values has always been to be an educator first, friend second. Sometimes, we have to stop with the constant go go go mindset that this world places on us and sit in a quiet room and reevaluate our current positions. After we do that, what can we do? Well, I'm glad you asked!
Keep Alcohol to a Minimum
WHAT!? How dare I?! With holiday work and family events, more than likely we will be surrounded by alcoholic beverages. It doesn't mean that you can't enjoy yourselves but keep a controlled limit on it. Most of us in the back of our minds know the facts behind alcohol so I won't go into a long discussion how it will completely destroy our goals but try to keep alcohol consumption for social gatherings and to once per week. Plus, never consume alcohol before enjoying your holiday dinners or other meals. Keep your drinking to AFTER eating due to hunger hormones being released if consumed before which can cause us to overeat (yay, more calories!) And of course, drink responsibly! :)
With the constant running around that was stated earlier plus wanting to enjoy festivities, watch holiday movies, visit friends and family, etc. Nov-Dec is the time where we sleep the least. Do not sacrifice fun times with your family but learn to manage your schedule well! Studies have shown that people that don't get several hours of sleep every night typically see a lack of hunger control due to blood sugar irregularities, thus leading to constantly snacking even when our bodies are not in need of it.
Be Picky & Eat What You Truly Love
This is a fun time for all of us, *fitness fanatics listen to me* you don't have to go diet crazy. This took me a long time to learn, especially with being a respected leader in the wellness community. People consistently looked at what I was doing and if I did it, that meant that they could automatically do it too, despite what I would tell them. Plus, it never helped when "gurus" would constantly preach to lead by example. This caused me to sacrifice many fun events with friends and family just so I could, "lead by example." Listen, WE ARE HUMAN! We work hard all year long, we deserve some fun times so don't be afraid to grab Grandma's homemade chocolate chip cookies. But, stay in control! I've learned over the years that many snacks and tasty treats will be presented to you. It doesn't mean you have to eat them all! You can grab one, take a bite then stop or share a treat with someone else. One of the biggest things that I've learned though is pick 1 or 2 of your all-time favorite snacks that you are absolutely in love with and eat a controlled portion of those. Avoid the common day items that we see such as potato chips, pretzels, sodas, common store bought cookies, flavored breads, etc. This way, we are at least controlling our caloric intake to a certain degree.
Participate in Fun Activities
Weight management, even with all of the diet gimmicks on the market, always comes back to one simple formula...Calories In vs Calories Out. If we know for a fact that we are going to be attending holiday parties, eating tasty treats and taking time off of work, we HAVE to make time and prep for activities to try to burn off some of the calories we take in.
If you aren't a typical gym goer and find exercise boring...
-Try to go on some family walks for 30 mins.
-Keep sitting down to a minimum since we burn double the calories with standing than we do with sitting,
-Walk your dogs frequently.
-Participate in some sporting activities with friends; have a hoop? Shoot around for a bit!
If you are a consistent gym goer...
-Bump up your daily workouts by simply adding 5-10 mins of additional cardio. With another 10 mins of steady state jogging, on average, you can burn an additional 100 calories!
-Opt for more cardio than weight lifting. Getting bigger is exactly what most are trying to avoid during this time so don't be afraid to hit that treadmill and walk away from the circuit machines. If you are an avid weight lifter and have the time, do a separate cardio workout later in the day to burn off the tasty treats. Having the additional sugar and carbs in your system will make for a great pre-workout for that run or other cardiovascular activity!
Remember the Reason for the Season
This is a time to have fun, rejoice in Christ, be with family and friends and not to be stressed. Our world makes this time incredibly stressful but we must stay in control and take breaks when needed. Stress has a huge hormonal impact on weight management and if not controlled, can make matters worse when combined with overeating and lack of sleep. While shopping for gifts, take a break and simply enjoy the weather. Every couple of hours, walk away from your desk and do some stretching or a quiet meditation walk. Find things that calm you down, make you smile and bring you back down to Earth with the craziness happening around you.
THERE IT IS! This will probably be my final blog of 2017. It is time for me to slow down and enjoy some time with friends and family. Thank you to everyone that read my blogs throughout the year, supported the business and spread the word of my new businesses to their circle of influence. I am truly excited for 2018, we have many surprises to announce and new things coming within the next several months so right now, I am taking this time to unwind myself before going full speed ahead into the new year! I hope you found this year's blogs helpful and if you ever have any suggestions for topics, don't be afraid to leave a comment down below or shoot me an email letting me know your thoughts.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays!
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