So you just finished your fourth Thanksgiving meal of the day, have a ton of leftovers to boot and another 30 plus days of gluttonous festivities to participate in. Whether you always work out to stay in shape or watch what you eat or planning to start a training program for the first time, this is the time of year that can make you or break you!
Don’t get me wrong, you want to have your cake and eat it too (full pun intended) but there is a difference between doing it in a methodical way or with reckless abandon!
Why should I care or worry…
For starters, the length of the holidays is daunting. At the very least it is 5-6 weeks of total disregard to common sense where you are tempted in the office, home, or anywhere you go with an array of mouth watering and addicting sugar, fats, and junk carbs. This represents 10-12 percent of the entire year!
Add to that the fact that you are planning or participating in additional events, are running around in search of that perfect ‘gift’, and leaving very little time to exercise (if you even do exercise) and you can see how someone can come out of this time period having gained everything that they fought so hard to lose over the past year…
Plan and think ahead…
Like just about anything in life, your best chance of success is to plan, plan, plan. The old saying that ‘having no plan is the best plan for failure’ has never been truer when it comes to holiday feasting.
So in order to counter the temptations you are about to endure, I have developed these tips and found them to be very helpful:
1. Bring your own healthy tasty treats to work, at least you can control what you are eating rather than someone controlling it for you.
2. Be the one that plans the office party rather than just participating. Control the menu and you control the diet!
3. Form a pact with two or three co-workers as a support group in order to keep each other in check.
4. Eat before you participate! Whether it be at work or with friends, if you eat something healthy beforehand, you are less likely to indulge in the bad things. Never ever go to a party on an empty stomach.
5. Holiday beverages with or without alcohol are loaded with empty calories. This is not only bad for you in terms of calories but it also creates the tendency to munch or eat other things that are also bad for you. Control what you drink and you control how much you will eat overall. If you are going to have more than one drink, try to substitute one with water only. The key here is to be full.
6. Excuses, excuses, excuses…find them and use them! One way to politely turn down all the alcohol and/or food is to come up with excuses such as ‘No thanks, I have my physical coming up and eating/drinking this will skew my lab work tomorrow’.
7. Don’t skip a workout, reduce the duration instead. If you exercise, many people that skip a workout will double up the next one. Frequency is more important than duration. You want to be in a routine and rhythm. As an example, skipping a one hour workout then making up for it by doing a two hour one next time is not as effective as substituting the skipped workout with a 30 minute one instead, then doing a one hour workout the next time.
8. Pick your parties wisely and use excuses to not participate in other ones. Just like in 6 above while at an event, you can also use excuses to not attend a party completely. Say you have a conflict with a client, a friend, a family member, etc. You control the calendar, you control your destiny.
9. Start making New Year’s resolution just as the holidays start. This little ‘guilt trip’ trick, will more than likely help deter some of the things you may eat and/or drink. Committing to losing x amount of weight starting in the New Year but making that commitment before the holidays, will help your will power in turning down things that will hurt your commitment.
10. Be healthy year round and people will respect that and won’t ‘push’ junk on you. I have found that people know I eat a pretty clean diet. So during the holidays they won’t push junk on me as much as they may with someone else. After all, someone that wants to get drunk will seek another drinker for company instead of a teetotaler. The same is true during holiday events for binge eating.
So enjoy your holidays in moderation, it’s the best gift you can give to yourself and be….Fit Forlife