Losing weight is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions each year. What if this year, instead of trying to undo the damage, you set a goal to avoid gaining the weight altogether? The average American gains at least a pound during the holidays every year. Over time, that can add up. Here, David Reagan, Atlanta certified personal trainer, shares a few tweaks you can add to your holiday routine to avoid holiday weight gain.
Set a goal not to gain any weight
Instead of making a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, make a promise to yourself to avoid putting on weight in the first place. It’s essential to make this an official goal, not just a wish. Write out your oath to stick to healthy behaviors throughout the holiday season and sign it, then hang it where you can see it every day. Place a few additional reminders of your goal around your home, office, and car. Make a plan to reward yourself for accomplishing your goal. Maybe you’ll take yourself shopping for new clothes or get a massage. Ensure your promise and the reward you’ll get for keeping it are always fresh in your mind.
Create a food strategy and plan for contingencies
Think about what situations presented a problem for you in previous years. Did you overeat at holiday parties? Keep too many sweets in the house? Overindulge in holiday cocktails? Develop a plan for overcoming those obstacles before you face them. Decide which treats you will indulge in and when; then plan to avoid everything else. Plan healthy meals and snacks around your indulgences. It’s okay to treat yourself to holiday favorites. Savor every morsel or sip, by all means. Just make sure you aren’t overindulging. Balance rich holiday foods with healthy, nutritious ones, and you should avoid gaining weight without feeling deprived.
Stick to your schedule
Many people view the holiday season as a time to let their daily routine slide, but it is precisely this mindset that can lead to overeating and weight gain. Instead of giving in to every whim, stay on your regular schedule whenever possible. Get plenty of sleep, find time to be active each day, and eat regular, healthy meals. Skipping breakfast does not permit you to eat that second piece of pecan pie after dinner. When holiday activities threaten your schedule, look for ways to work healthy behavior into your day. Walk an extra lap around the mall when shopping for gifts or grab a fruit plate instead of cheesecake at the holiday office party. Strive for a balance between fun indulgences and healthy choices, and you should have no trouble meeting your zero-weight-gain goal.
Focus on holiday traditions that don’t revolve around food
Whether it’s trick or treating for Halloween candy with the kids, sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, or baking an astonishing amount of Christmas cookies, many holiday traditions are based around food. Focus on ways to celebrate the season that don’t involve eating. Take family walks around the neighborhood to find the best lighting display, go caroling, participate in a holiday-themed 5k, or host a decoration-making contest. Volunteering in your community is also a fantastic way to spend your time that doesn’t revolve around eating. It might take some creativity on your part, but avoiding food-based activities will help you remember that the holidays are about the people you’re with, not the food.
The holidays are full of temptation. Whether your kryptonite is candy, cookies, or cocktails, the holiday season provides plenty of ways for you to sabotage your diet. While it’s okay to indulge in a few of your favorite treats, you shouldn’t give in to every want that crosses your mind. Setting a goal, making a plan, keeping your regular schedule, and focusing on traditions that don’t revolve around eating, you are sure to stay on track and set yourself up for success this holiday season.
About David Reagan
David Reagan is a NASM Certified personal trainer from Atlanta, GA, specializing in weight loss, personalized workout plans, bodybuilding, and nutrition. He caters to high-end clients and executives in Atlanta, helping them achieve their fitness goals by accommodating their busy schedules. The client’s needs come first, and David’s fitness plan will set you up on the path to success.