Hello divas! I hope that you week has been going well so far. Mine has been all about getting back on track after my mini vacation last weekend. But it’s going well.
I am thrilled to be home the next couple of weeks so I can start getting some of my holiday plans in place. I have a love/hate relationship with the holiday season. On one hand I love that I get to spend so much time with family and friends. On the other is the fact that it is stressful, busy and sometimes rather difficult to maintain my health and fitness goals.
And I know that I am not alone in this. So today I am sharing my 5 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain.
I just love this time of year. It is filled with decorations, family, giving and, of course, food. As you all know, I have a serious sweet tooth (see my tips to stop sugar cravings) so this season is perfect for me. It’s just not so perfect for my diet. As a girl who is trying her best to live a healthy lifestyle and lose those last 20lbs the doctor tells me I should lose, the holiday season can be a real problem. Since I am not running 10 miles a day (it gets dark too early!), I have come up with a few tips that will help in keeping off those extra pounds and keep you fit and healthy all season long.
- Make plan and be consistent. It is important that you have a plan in place for how much exercise you want to do each week, when you want to eat your meals and how much sleep you are aiming to get. I aim to make sure that I am getting enough exercise and training, eating regularly and resting so that I am not constantly sluggish or eating mindlessly.
- Eat smart. I know it is not always possible to stick to a diet during the holiday season. But you can be smart and what and when you eat. Do not skip meals in order to bank calories for the rest of the day. Especially if this meal is breakfast. This will slow your metabolism and cause you to overeat, adding more calories than if you just ate as normal. Also, it is okay to have a taste of the good stuff (i.e. all those yummy pies and cakes). I try to have a few bites of 2-3 of my favorite desserts so that I can enjoy them without totally going overboard. Also be aware of how much you are drinking. Calories from alcohol can add up fast if you are not careful.
- Exercise early. Coming from me, this is kinda funny as I will be the first to tell you I love to sleep (see my tips to make your morning runs rock). However, working out in the morning has a lot of benefits. For one, it gives your metabolism a boost for the day. Also, getting your work out in early won’t interfere as much with all the parties, dinners and family events. This allows you to stick to the fitness plan you decided on and work off some of the calories that you are putting into your body. Just be sure that you stay safe if you are running in the dark.
- Get motivated. I always try to find ways to get motivated to get out the door and run or do a strength training workout. It’s not easy this time of year with all the stress and busy schedules and cold weather. For one, I try to sign up for a spring half marathon. This way, I know that I have to get out there and get my runs in or my money will just be wasted if I can’t finish the race. Also, there are shorter races such as 5Ks that you can do throughout the season which will help keep some of the calories in check.
- Recruit friends. Finally, be sure that you tell others how you plan on staying healthy. Find a running or workout partner. Do a race with a family member or friend. Request that family make some healthier versions of dishes to help you stay on track (see my balsamic parmesan green bean recipe for an option). The idea is to make yourself accountable to others so that you can stay on track.