With all of the holiday stress, extra food lurking around every corner, and the added emotions of the season, you may feel that gaining weight is inevitable. But, it doesn’t have to be! A little preplanning can go a long way in helping to prevent holiday weight gain. Consider these tips to keep your calories in check:
- Investigate the reasons for emotional eating. Are you feeling sad, lonely, depressed, stressed, or overwhelmed? If so, look for resolution to these problems outside of food, even if it’s only one small step. For example, write a letter to an out-of-touch friend or sign on for an extra project at work to challenge you over the holidays.
- Be proactive. If you know that you’re going to be in places with lots of food, consider eating healthy, fresh meals before leaving your home. That way, you won’t be as tempted to make poor food choices at the event. Or, bring a healthy dish for sharing to the party, so that you don’t have to guess what you’ll eat when you arrive.
- Set yourself up for making smart choices at the gathering. For example, choose a smaller plate. This will help give the appearance of plenty of food without having large portions. Also, avoid drinking your calories and consuming the often empty calories of processed foods.
- Make sure to get plenty of sleep! With all of the stress and increased activities associated with the holidays, sleep is often the first thing to go. But, this is very hard on our bodies and minds. So, help yourself feel better by getting plenty of rest. If this seems out of the question, consider re-evaluating how you’re spending your time. Could any of your to-do items be temporarily delegated to other family members or outsourced to a personal shopper or concierge, for instance?
- Keep active! With the increased demands on our time during the holidays, keeping a regular workout routine can be difficult. However, it’s even more important to commit to getting “real” exercise sessions in during this season. If time is an issue, consider altering how or where you work out. For example, if you’d normally drive to the gym, but find yourself pressed for time, moving your workout to the living room temporarily might make more sense. Or, if you have extra family in town, make your workout a group activity and find ways to exercise together!
If you’d like to plan now to avoid holiday weight gain, let me know! I’d be happy to help you establish realistic goals and workout routines that will fit your busy schedule.