The holidays are coming. Just as you are getting through Halloween and all those bags of candy sitting around, the holiday treats start rolling in. If you work in an office you will likely be overstimulated by all the holiday goodies showing up in a few weeks. Every store we walk enter this time of year has Thanksgiving Day and Christmas décor everywhere. Front yards in our neighborhoods are filling up with inflatable outdoor figures. Some ambitious souls have their Christmas trees up, and you’ve already chosen a box of holiday gift cards. Every year, this deluge of sensory input triggers a tiny voice in your head: “I will not gain that weight this year” quickly followed by “…but if I do, I’ll lose it after the New Year.”
It’s no wonder gym memberships go up by 12% every January—everyone was already planning to sign up before December!
To get you mentally and physically primed for the next few months and avoid that seasonal weight gain, implement at least 2-3 of the following strategies during the holiday season:
- Sleep 7-8 hours per night. Let’s face it: every holiday season is filled with parties and traveling and our work life doesn’t necessarily ease up. Prioritize getting to bed earlier; your brain will function more efficiently the next day and the leftover pumpkin pie will be easier to turn down.
- Eat a satisfying breakfast. Now is not the time to skip meals. Set yourself up for success with a wholesome breakfast. Example: two egg veggie omelet with accompanied by medium-sized banana and a tablespoon of almond butter.
- Pre-package 7-10 individual snacks each week. Healthy ideas include mixed nuts, homemade energy bites, carrots with hummus, and julienned bell peppers with bean dip. You get the idea: lay off the chips and skip the sugary drinks and candy bars.
- Drink at least 64 oz. of water every day. As the weather starts to cool down it can be very easy to forget about hydration. Drinking plenty of water is typically emphasized during the summer, but it’s just as important in the fall and winter months. You don’t lose as much fluid through sweat, but your body needs water for regular metabolism just as it does all year round.
- Schedule your fitness. Make appointments with yourself. Commit to staying on top of any personal training, group classes, or gym time you do the rest of the year.
- Practice the out of sight, out of mind principle. Sugar cookies from the neighbor, homemade fudge from a co-worker, and apple pie from a holiday party do not need to be in your home. First, ask yourself if the treat is worth it. Second, savor every bite if you decide to enjoy the treat. Last, don’t bring it home; instead, offer it to someone else so they can use it for one of their parties or holiday outings.
- If you bake specialty items for your friends and family, try something new this year. Baking the annual 15 loaves of banana bread for a lovely presents may work for people who are very disciplined, but if you know you break down and snack on your yummies, you may want to try a different approach this year: maybe a healthier item such as a seasoning blend or tea variety pack will do the trick.
- Say no when necessary. Times to say “not tonight” or “maybe some other time” include the following:
- Say no when a coworker offers you a second or third drink at a company party.
- Say no when you’re offered a few pieces of cheesecake to take home for later.
- Say no when someone asks you to go shopping instead of hitting your regular yoga class.
- Say no when friends invite you to meet for cocktails in the middle of a very busy week.
- Say no when you’re tempted by quick and easy sweet treats while rushing through the airport.
- Consider implementing 2-3 food rules, boundaries or goals for the holiday season. For example, a goal could be drinking 64 ounces of water per day. Set your boundaries based on personal needs and history.
- Scan the party buffets before making your plate. Instead of going down the line right away, take the time to see what is presented on the table. Strive to fill at least ½ of your plate with non-starchy vegetables.
And if you really want to inoculate yourself before the New Year, try out Skyterra for a week between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We can give you a boost on losing that extra weight before the New Year.
Good luck and Happy Holidays!