Okay, this isn’t rocket science so don’t expect an Albert Einstein moment but I was at the gym this morning, day 28 of not running, but who’s counting, feeling a little bra bulge (remember we all have this), and thinking about all of the Christmas parties we’ve got. I thought to myself … ugh , all of this drinking is making me feel gross. Anyone feel me? But I don’t want to be antisocial! Rewind to yesterday and a good girlfriend had the same conversation with me. December is just crazy! She shared her same concerns plus that she was worried about gaining weight. Which, as I was grinding away on the Stepmill today led me to take out my cell and write the following notes in my phone. I do exercise a lot but I really think I manage my weight well during the holidays because of the following and I wanted to share these tips with you!
- Be less specific – this is not the time to hone in on a specific weight target. Often when you set goals with a certain number in mind (lose 10 lbs or reach a certain number on the scale), you are disappointed because holiday season has lots of roadblocks because of festivities and food-centered activities. Make the holidays more about just losing (or even just not gaining) at all. Take 1/2 lb weight loss in a week or no weight gain as a win! And strive to repeat it week by week.
- Make small manageable goals like “I will cut my sugar intake in half” (not eliminate) or “I will only drink alcohol one night a week” and revisit those goals weekly to see if they are doable. They may become part of your lifestyle eventually. When you try to do too much at once, you end up failing at everything. I know with my running when I try to work on my cadence, hip drop and rotation, I end up improving on nothing because my mind can’t concentrate on one thing.
- Say “no.” This is the season for holiday parties. Work parties, spouse work parties, friend parties, mom parties, church parties (don’t say no to those:)), family gatherings … it can derail you. Your diet and fitness progress can get completely sabotaged if you don’t learn to say “no.” Pick and choose the events that are musts and decline the ones that make for back to back activities. Explain to the host or hostess that it’s a busy time and you have other commitments (YOURSELF), and try to plan a non-food-centered activity with the host/hostess after the holidays when you RSVP “no.” You’ll have better one on one time anyways because it’s hard to catch up at a large party, right?
- Get back on the saddle – one bad day isn’t gonna add a pound (3,500+ calories is) and your RMR or resting metobolic rate (even if it’s slow) won’t allow for that even with a complete binge session. That added weight you see if you happen to be a daily weigher is water weight. Just get back on the saddle and aim to make healthy choices at the next meal. And whatever you binged on better have been worth it!!!
- Inform friends and family of weight loss/fitness (or maintenance in my case) goals. No one is going to force you to eat unhealthy or take a shot or drink a beer if you are trying to make healthy lifestyle changes (or I certainly hope not … tell them to talk to me). And have a buddy!!! A friend or family member who you can confide in when you slip up and who can hold you accountable when you so choose (you can ask them to not allow you to touch the Oreo cheesecake, and they will be your food Nazi). This doesn’t mean you can’t partake in holiday fun but allow yourself a bite of the decadent things not an actual portion.
- Is it worth it? – anyone that knows me, knows that this is probably my food motto. I pretty much don’t put something in my mouth, food or drink, without thinking “is this worth it?” That doesn’t mean I don’t indulge in candy, cake and ice cream from time to time (and I actually have about 10-20% of my daily calories in the no nutritional value category) but before that I try to consume foods that DO satiate me and that do provide nutrition to me. At parties when I see cake and other decadent food, I ask “is this worth it,” and most of the time, it’s not because it’s not food I just love. Now put a Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Cake in front of me … and it is worth it. 🙂 But my point is, don’t fill your stomach with high calorie/fattening food when the food is only half ass. Be sure you really want it!
Do you have any others to add? Comment below, if so, I’d love to hear them! These were just off the top of my head while at the gym!