’Tis the season to spend time with family and friends and enjoy the endless holiday parties packed with yummy holiday foods. ‘Tis also the season to gain weight. Research shows the average person gains five to ten pounds every holiday season. And if this becomes an annual pattern for you year after year, you’ll soon find that holiday weight gain can add up to be a big problem. Still want to enjoy the holidays without suffering the weight consequences? Here’s how:
Food Journaling is an excellent way to keep track of the amount and type of food you put into your body. If you’re forced to write it down then you’ll think twice before putting it in your mouth. Tracking food intake is about accountability and personal reflection. A food log shows patterns so you may think you are okay eating certain foods but seeing it in writing will cause you to make changes. By doing so, you can add up calories, protein, carbs and fat or you can just simply log the food for accountability. You may discover that the 400 calorie espresso drink is really not worth it after all.
Time Management can help you stay on a healthy track this season. Lack of time is an easy excuse people use when they fall back into bad habits like eating on the run and skipping workouts. If you know you are going to be shopping all day or traveling in the car to visit family, make sure to bring healthy snacks such as protein bars, trail mix or raw almonds with you. You will be less tempted to snack on junk food if have a healthy snack on hand. If there is no other choice but to eat out, chose something healthy such as a grilled chicken salad with balsamic dressing.
Stay active, make up the extra calorie consumption by burning off more calories through workouts or outside activities. I tell my clients if you eat hard you better play hard in the gym! Enjoy the holiday goodies in moderation this season! You will be proud of yourself on January 1, 2009 when you step on the scale and realize that you did not gain that extra five (or ten) pounds!