By Lara Thompson, Personal Trainer and Owner of Pure Physique
Question: It’s so hard to diet and exercise in December. Can’t I just relax and enjoy the holidays, then lose the weight in January?
Answer: Great news! According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average weight gain over the holidays is only 1 pound. No big deal, right? Wrong. The problem is, a year later, most people still haven’t lost that pound. Also, if you’re already overweight, you’re more likely to gain closer to 5 pounds during the holidays. Add that up over several years, and you’re quite possibly looking at a huge problem. So to answer the question, yes, enjoy the holidays, but with a goal of maintenance in mind.
5 Tips to Keep the Weight Off this Christmas Season
1/ Keep Moving – This is a busy time of year, and many fitness classes take a break over Christmas, but don’t let that be an excuse to give up your exercise routine. Continue to take time for yourself so you can enjoy the season guilt-free.
2/ Have a Pre-Meal Meal – Before heading to a dinner or cocktail party, eat a nutritious snack or meal. You’ll be less likely to indulge in high-fat, high-sugar treats or drinks if you’re already full. Also, be mindful of your choices and consider a tradeoff. If you do indulge in a handful of Christmas goodies in the break room at lunch, skip dessert after dinner.
3/ Don’t Lick the Beaters! – Keep sugar-free gum or candies in your mouth while you cook or bake. You’ll be less likely to sneak a taste of cookie dough if you’re chewing some spearmint gum.
4/ Stay Focused on Your Goals – You might be sporting long pants and sweaters right now, but before long it’ll be shorts and tanks again. You may not gain a ton of weight in just one month, but you certainly can lose a lot of definition. Many people also take a mid-winter beach vacation… swimsuits in February? Yikes!
5/ Buy Yourself an Early Gift of Good Health – Don’t wait until January to join the gym, hire a trainer, or register for a class. Do it now and you’ll stay on track throughout the season.