Did you know that the average American gains 5 – 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve? That’s not too surprising given all of the festivities and holiday indulgences, plus added stress with work, family, and travel. Our schedules are out of whack and then there is always that one co-worker who brings in the treats and sweets!
This time of year, can wreck havoc on your current fitness and clean eating regimen and can also set you back in your goals for 2017. A lot of my clients have been asking me how to help them, so I wanted to put all of my best tips that have worked for my clients and me.
- Just Say No: This is definitely a no-brainer, but it just has to be said. Many times, it’s all about having the willpower to simply say no to full indulgence. For example, do you need to eat that piece of cake or indulge in a second plate of appetizers at the company holiday party? Probably, not. One thing that I do to make it easier, if I know that i’ll be in a place where I’ll be tempted, is to eat a healthy snack or meal before attending an event. That way I won’t be starving and less likely to overindulge.
- Focus on Healthy Snacks: Remember, “FOOD IS FUEL” and if you are not able to have healthy meals for lunch or dinner, focus on making your snacks healthy. Aim for foods that are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, lean protein and healthy fats. Lately, I’ve been snacking on an apple with a tablespoon of almond butter or whole grain pita with hummus and cucumber. I also keep Kind Bars and healthy trail mix in my bag for an easy grab and go option while I am out and about. Protein shakes or green smoothies are also a great in the clutch snack. The focus is to find snacks that can fill you up, fuel you up, and help to keep your metabolism revved up.
- Find Healthy Alternatives: Tis the season to be creative and opt for healthier alternatives to your holiday favorites. You might be surprised at how tasty and delicious an apple crumble can be in place of a traditional apple pie or even swapping a mixed drink or beer for a glass of champagne (which is lower in calories and carbs). It’s all about balance, but if you are looking for more options, check out my Healthy Holiday Recipe Pinterest Board.
- Commit with a Buddy: People who have an accountability system in place can help them stay on track with their health and fitness goals. Connect with a co-worker or a family member or your best friend and commit to taking a fitness class a few times a week or committing to logging your food in MyFitnessPal or even committing to eating a healthy breakfast and snacks each day. Knowing that you have someone else in the same boat as you and that you have to check in with them, will help you to be more mindful in what you are doing and what you are eating, which sometimes is all you need to make better decisions.
- Establish a Reward: I don’t know about you, but I am all up for the new “Treat Yo’Self” movement and I have been very good about rewarding my good behavior. One of my clients just told me that she booked a trip to Puerto Rico because she made a commitment that she would get a trainer and workout 3 times a week for 6 months. Not only did she meet that commitment, but she has lost 23 pounds since we started training and she has definitely earned her trip! Think of a reward that you can do for the beginning of the year if you avoid gaining weight by making the best decisions. Maybe it’s a trip, a new dress to wear on New Year’s Eve or a new toy or appliance!
Hopefully, these will help you to stay on track this year and if you have any other questions, feel free to contact me. I am hosting a January Fitness & Clean Eating Challenge starting in the New Year and if you are interested in joining click here to submit an application!