With holidays approaching quickly, it’s all too easy to say “I’ll get back on track after the holidays.” Well, let me be your friendly reminder that it is MUCH easier to put weight on than to take it off! 🙂
I’ve had clients tell me “December is a WRITE OFF” or let’s start after the holidays. But I beg to differ. I think that you can totally keep it together over the holiday season, it just takes a bit of common sense to keep on track! So, let’s take a look at some things you can do.
First off, just because there are bowls of chocolate Santa Clauses all over the office, it does not mean your hand has to dip into that bowl every time you walk by. Little chocolate Santas don’t whisper “eat me OR ELSE,” (we just think they do). Studies show that if you keep these types of “tempations” far enough from your desk, you are much less likely to indulge. OUT OF REACH, OUT OF SIGHT..OUT OF MIND..OUT OF HAND..OFF OF HIPS AND BELLY! Move those bowls and boxes of Christmas Chocolates out of sight and far enough from your desk that you have to get up and go find them. Seriously. Move them.
Parties. Yes we have parties, but some people make it sound like there is a party from Monday to Sunday for the next 4 weeks! If you have a party or two every weekend it does not mean that the week is a write off. OR the weekend. You can still eat balanced nutrition all week and all day during the weekends. On top of this when you do get to the party, arrive having eaten normally all day. Don’t starve yourself all day with the thought that you are going to KILL IT TONIGHT! and pig out! Rather if you go with a normal appetite and make reasonable choices and don’t over eat, chances are you really won’t eat that much more. So don’t starve yourself the day of the party. Make wise choices. A piece of lean protein (fish, chicken) some salad if there is any, vegetables on the veggie platter, and some starches (potato, pasta, rice). Sure it may not be ideal, but DO THE BEST YOU CAN. It’s all you can do. Just keep the portion sizes the way you would at home. Bringing something to the party? Bring something HEALTHY! And eat it! Make a nice big salad with fresh berries and goat cheese and candied pecans, people will love it! If you want to try the dessert, leave a bit of extra room that you normally would not, and just have half a piece. Chances are if you don’t eat sugar often, you won’t feel great suddenly downing 3 pieces of pie, ice cream and a “light” eclair anyways! And who likes a sugar coma? Count me out! Just common sense. Don’t over do it.
Have an office party? Same rules apply. The next day…BRING A LUNCH, a healthy balanced lunch. An egg sandwich, piece of fruit and a big bottle of water. DO NOT…go looking in the office fridge for the high calorie left overs from the party! Don’t start picking at the dessert. That’s when it starts to add up. The KEY to keeping holiday weight in check is to keep the rest of your days as normal as possible. Don’t get caught into the trap of one party causing a string of 3 days of falling off the wagon…and another party doing the same..and then WAMMO! 5LBS! 10lbs! (Think of that big climb in the race…the one you really want to fly up in 2012!!)
For the Americans in the crowd this is even more important. With Thanksgiving and Christmas hitting each other in the same 40 days…it’s often too easy to get on a cheating roll…which turns into a belly roll!
I believe the holiday weight can be avoided by changing your frame of mind. Don’t think “it’s a WRITE OFF” just think, I will have maybe 2-3 cheat meals, but THEN I will get right back on track on my day to day nutrition. In fact, COMMIT TO THIS. When you are at a party enjoy the party. Remember that the season is about the people, the family you are seeing and sharing with others. No one is forcing gravy and pie down your throat! (Ok maybe some people try?) And it is PERFECTLY OK to say no to dessert. Even if you get that “look.” They’ll get over it. Trust me. Everything in moderation.
Do you remember the last time you had to lose 5-10 lbs? It takes dedication, and attention to detail. Imagine, you can be that much more ahead of the game this year by changing your frame of mind. We simply get so busy that it seems to be hectic and we tend to feel like we were at 100 parties by the time it is all over. It can be an exhausting time of year. One day at a time. Don’t forget to breathe. And you will be amazing.
While you may have a bit of time now, consider making some BULK recipes. Chili, Fajitas, Stir Fries, Sheppard’s Pie etc and freezing portions in the freezer. When the days are hectic and you have kids and shopping and parties, pop one of those in the oven or microwave (it happens-just remove it from the plastic!) and save the time of cooking. Buy the veggie tray at the grocery store for yourself at home if that’s what it takes. YOU NEED TO HAVE THE FOODS AVAILABLE TO SUCCEED AND YOU NEED TO TAKE THE STEPS TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN TO SUCCEED! Do whatever it takes. This weekend, dedicate a few hours to making a few bulk meals. It will be worth it! Have fresh fruit and single serve yogurts on hand in the fridge for a quick snack (both at work and at home) along with some raw almonds. I also recommend rice cakes and almond butter or rice crackers and hummus. All easy, with no cooking required. Start the day with a quick nutrient dense smoothie with fresh fruit, almond milk/rice/regular milk, protein powder, fish oils and ice. Keep it simple and you will keep it off.
With the holidays upon us these are some important tips to keep you on track and keep the extra pounds from creeping up on you! And if the thought of extra pounds isn’t enough to discourage you from going no holds barred…REMEMBER HOW MUCH HARDER IT IS TO RIDE OR RUN UP A HILL WHEN YOU ARE 10 LBS HEAVIER ;). And how your competition is getting leaner! AND FASTER!
Remember, everything is simply a choice. Make the right choice and when Jan 1 comes along, you will be A-OK and won’t have to worry about spending the month losing weight! You can focus on what matters, gaining more POWER and getting ready for 2012!
Until next time, treat yourself well, drink lots of water and be good to your body!