Sunday, November 20, 2011

Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

How do you avoid putting on those dreaded pounds each time the holiday season rolls around?  Have a plan and stick to your healthy goals.  Give yourself the ultimate present of good health.  Below are suggestions to keep you on track:

  1. Sleep 7-9hrs each night.  Quality sleep matters to help your muscles rebuild from workouts and your brain to recoup from the day.  If you need to sneak in a nap make sure it is before 3pm (so you don't mess up your normal sleep cycle) and that its a half hour to hour long at most.  
  2. Drink plenty of water.  Take your body weight and divide it by half to calculate the amount in ounces you should be consuming per day.  Workouts and environment changes mean adding in more water.  Rule of thumb: if you are thirty you are already dehydrated.
  3. Limit sweet intake.  This is the time of year that sugar surrounds us along with classic comfort foods.  Allow yourself to have a bite of the cake at work or one sweet treat a day so you stay in control of your calorie intake.  Drink some water or eat an apple if the craving hits you for more.  Also hiding sweets in a hard to reach place (not on your desk at work) will decrease the temptation.
  4. Get more active!  Meditate, go for a walk on your lunch break, strength train on your TRX at home or try a new fitness class.  Either way schedule it into your planner.  This will ensure you are being social in a way not focused on food.  Make a commitment along with close friends or family to run a holiday 5K or go to Zumba each week.
  5. Take time to relax and beat the end of year stress.  There are so many people to see and things to do that sometimes you need a break from it all.  Journal, call a friend, send a quick email to extended family, go to a matinee, play with your pets, or write down what you're grateful for.  This will create some time for you to escape the hussle of the season and put life in perspective.
  6. Fight off germs.  Layer up on clothes, vacuum often, wear warm jackets/hats/gloves, and wash your hands frequently.  The holiday season means being around more people and the risk of getting sick.  Holiday colds can equal weight gain.  It's easy to tack on extra pounds when you are stuck in bed for a few days.  Stay healthy and you will be happy with the results!

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