Thursday, November 12, 2015

7 ways to stay on track during the Holidays

I love the holidays! The lights, the smells, family gatherings, decorations and more. However, with the Holidays can come hectic schedules, parties and more parties, which usually means more and more food! Not to mention the neighbor and co-worker gifts that fill the countertops. Pair that with seemingly less time for exercise, and some would fear the year's hard work in fitness and weight loss is lost.

Many of us started the year with health goals such as weight loss or weight maintenance.
Statistics show that the average American gains 5-10 pounds over the Holidays.

What do you say about NOT becoming part of that statistic?

Whether your efforts have been consistent or more like a roller coaster pattern, none of us want to back track on any of the progress we have made.  I have compiled a list of 7 ways to stay on track during the Holidays.

1. Write down your goal. A goal unwritten is merely a wish. Write your goal and motivation and place it somewhere you will see it often. Let it remind you of what you want to accomplish during the Holidays. Let it build you up in confidence that you CAN succeed.

2. Get rid of the "D" word. Diet has gotten a negative connotation in our society. It has become what we "have" to eat or what we "can't" eat. I give you the challenge to rather see "Diet" simply as WHAT you eat. Keep the goal to eat sensibly through the Holidays. If you indulge on the pumpkin pie, let it be just enough to satisfy the taste buds. Don't wait until Monday to get back on track.

3. Use a fitness/food tracker. With hectic schedules it can be tricky to remember all that we are doing for exercise and all that we put into our mouths. Fitness trackers can help motivate by giving feedback on how many calories you've consumed, how many steps you've taken, and calories you have burned during the day. (,, etc)

4. Schedule your workouts. Write down on a calendar or on your phone when/where you are going to exercise. Make an appointment with yourself. If you for see you cannot keep to your regular location and time, make sure to at least do some HIIT or Tabata training at home. 20 min of a good sweat is better than doing nothing at all!

5. Don't got to a party or gathering hungry. Going to a party hungry ignites the smells and emotional connections with food and is likely to lead to overeating. Have a reasonable snack before going such as apples and peanut butter, or some raw veggies. Also, while visiting at the party, keep a glass of water in your hand. This will keep the hands occupied and less able to reach for the goodies.

6. Enlist a friend! Guaranteed you aren't the only person on the block concerned about weight gain over the holidays. Form a workout group or challenge group with friends or co-workers. Add some incentive such as money, movie tickets, music etc. to the person who is able to maintain and not gain weight over the Holidays.

7.  Think rewards! Motivation is a big key to staying on track. Choose a reward for yourself and when you can get the reward. For example, "when I exercise at least 4 days a week from November to February 1st, then I get to buy new workout clothes." Perhaps each day you meet your goal for eating or exercise, place a token in a jar. When you reach "x" tokens, you receive "x" reward. (Preferably a non-food reward!) Rewards help us celebrate progress along the way to our ultimate goal.