There is a myth going around about weight gain and the holiday season. It is not true that you will gain between 5 and 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and the New Year simply because it is the holidays. In fact, many studies show only a pound and a half of additional weight will be gained during this time. Unless, that is, you decide to really let go of your diet.
Stress with added family can cause you to eat more, thus gain more weight.
Unhealthy snack and meal items on Black Friday can cause you to gain more weight.
Holiday gatherings where someone else has cooked (and controlled or didn’t control butter, cream, etc.) can cause you to gain more weight.
Not exercising because it is the holidays will cause you to gain more weight.
White turkey meat and cranberries will not cause you to gain more weight.
So, what can you do to avoid the extra, yet accepted, weight gain unfairly associated with the holiday season? Here are some tips:
1. Don’t put off exercise because you’re busy. There is nothing in the world more important than thirty minutes of exercise. If you have to scale back your time at the gym, do so. While it isn’t the greatest idea- it is a lot better than quitting the gym for the next month and a half.
2. Don’t allow family tension to be an excuse for excessive drinking or eating. Food and liquor will never solve a family issue. Instead, take a walk or find some raw carrots. Consuming raw carrots really will help relieve tension and stress. Walking releases dopamine in the brain, which can change a negative attitude into a positive one.
3. Carry water with you when you hit the mall. Walking the mall, or any other shopping facility, can cause you to sweat and become thirsty. The healthy option of water usually require a payment of three to four dollars per bottle when shopping. Food chains would rather you spend a dollar fifty on soda. If you have water with you, you will save money, quench your thirst, and avoid calories and excess sugars.
4. When in Rome…. Ok, you’re shopping and you’re bound to get hungry. What do you do? Avoid anything fried or baked in butter. Seek out low calorie options at your local mall. Garden salads are available at most fast food chains, Subway and independent restaurants. Grilled chicken is a pretty common option, too. Don’t allow being at the mall to act as an excuse to get that fried hot dog on a stick or overloaded potato.
5. Seek out support. The holidays can be overwhelming. We offer amazing trainers and nutritionists to help you develop a holiday game plan when it comes to meal planning, grocery shopping, a fitness routine and more!
You don’t have to find yourself ten pounds (or more) heavier on January 1st. Acknowledging holiday health challenges ahead of time, and then making plans to overcome these challenges, will help you maintain your fitness goals.