This holiday season don�t be trendy �
avoid the Seasonal Seven (the average weight most Americans
gain between Thanksgiving and New Year�s). That�s one trend
you don�t want to participate in!
Since the holidays are traditionally a
time for fun and indulgence, you probably prefer not to
think about fitness between Thanksgiving and the New Year.
Don�t worry! The festivities don�t have to be eliminated or
avoided. You can have a fabulous time while also maintaining
your weight and your fitness regimen.
Moderation is the secret to achieving
a fun and also healthy holiday season. There are two typical
approaches to the seasonal festivities: 1) throw all healthy
habits out the window and indulge in every guilty pleasure
2) starve and binge approach (for example, you eat nothing
all day long to allow yourself to overindulge in party
food). Of course, neither approach is successful at
maintaining a healthy, fit lifestyle throughout the holiday
As mentioned above, the key is found
in moderation. With a moderate approach both to what you eat
(or don�t eat) and how much exercise you do (or don�t do),
you can avoid packing on extra weight AND also partake in
all the fun of the season. So this season, get a head start
on the New Year instead of starting January with extra
pounds to lose.
Here are some tips to help you during
those hectic holiday weeks:
Create a plan ahead of time. Before the holidays
sneak up on you, create a plan for incorporating fitness and
good nutrition into your daily routine. Evaluate your
holiday schedule and then determine how much time you will
realistically have available to devote to working out and/or
eating healthy meals.
Don�t put your fitness goals on hold until the New
Year. If you can�t exercise as often during this time period
as you normally do, adjust appropriately. Don�t use the
excuse that since you don�t have time for your full workout
you just won�t workout at all. Instead accept your limited
availability and simply reduce the frequency and/or duration
of your exercise. It�s much better to cut your fitness time
in half than to completely eliminate it.
On the day of a party, be sure to eat regularly all
day long. If the party is in the evening, eat breakfast,
lunch and a snack before hand (just as you would on any
other day). Once you are at the party, go ahead and indulge
in some of the fun, delicious foods. Since you have eaten
meals earlier in the day, you probably will find that you
aren�t tempted to go overboard and eat everything in sight.
However, if you starve all day long attempting to save up
all your calories for the party, you will be so famished by
the time it begins that it will be difficult not to overeat.
Schedule your workouts. Mark them on the calendar and
set-aside time to complete them. Consider them as important
as any other appointment or event you have marked on your
When at a party, start by eating some of the healthy
offerings. For example, vegetable sticks (without dip),
fruit pieces, plain chicken pieces, etc. Then move on to
some of the less healthy (but yummy) offerings. You will be
less likely to overindulge on these foods if you have
already filled-up on some of the healthier items. Yet, you
will not feel deprived or unsatisfied.
On days that you really lack motivation or simply do
not have time for your complete exercise routine,
commit to do just 10
minutes of exercise. You�ll probably end up doing more than
that once you get started. Even if you only end up
completing 10 minutes, that is still a lot better than zero
When presented with a large variety of food options,
it�s tempting to want to eat everything. Rather than eating
one large slice of chocolate cake or a huge plate of
meatballs, select a sampling of bite size pieces of several
of the desert or appetizer offerings. This way you get the
enjoyment of trying many different foods without overeating.
Exercise at home. You�ll be more inclined to
follow-through on your exercise commitment if you don�t have
to drive somewhere to do your workout. Plus, you won�t waste
any time on driving, parking, the locker room or waiting to
use equipment. Working out at home requires very little
equipment (it even can be equipment-free) and is quite
Avoid wasting calories on alcoholic beverages. The
average alcoholic drink contains 150-200 calories per glass.
Indulge in just 2-3 drinks and you�ve drunk the equivalent
calories of an entire meal. If you partake in these
beverages, choose wisely. For example, instead of having a
full glass of wine, try mixing half a glass of wine with
sparkling water or with a diet soda. This will help cut your
calories in half.
When running errands or shopping, be sure to pack
some healthy snacks to have on-hand. Then after you work-up
a big appetite, you won�t be tempted to grab something at
the mall food court or the fast food restaurant on the way
Hopefully these tips will help you
find a balance between staying fit and also enjoying the fun
of the season. For additional holiday fitness tips, visit
moderation is the key. Have a great holiday season!
Lynn Bode is
a certified personal trainer
specializing in Internet-based fitness programs. She founded
Workouts For You.
Workouts For You provides
affordable online exercise programs that are
custom designed for each
Visit: http://www.workoutsforyou.com for
a free sample workout and
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