Enjoying The Holidays, Without The Pounds
Weight loss involves burning more calories than you take in, no big secret here. This involves exercising and eating a healthy portion controlled diet during the holidays. Yea right, that ain’t happening! With all of the extra time commitments that celebrations, decorating, and shopping involve, coupled with the tons of delicious calorie packed food and drinks that the holidays bring, you will not only miss a workout or two but also take in a few hundred extra calories in a single night.
You can lose weight any time of the year, if you are willing to do what it takes to make it happen. However, I do not think it is realistic to deprive yourself during this special time of year, so I might suggest a reevaluation of your goals to make them realistic and sensible. If you want to actually lose weight, you can reference any of my past articles and apply the advice. This article is about damage control and enjoying the season without going up a few sizes in the process.
If you are someone who gives their health and appearance top priority, I am guessing that you already live a healthy lifestyle and have a great deal discipline. Because of this, I suggest enjoying the holidays to the fullest. A healthy lifestyle and the shapely figure that accompanies it, comes from dedication and perseverance and you already have it. A person with these traits generally chooses not to overindulge because they know what the consequences are, and have the discipline to avoid them. The very small weight gain you incur will be quickly taken off as you tighten up the diet again and intensify the workouts after the holidays to pay the price for your sins.
If you are person who struggles with the commitment to exercise and eat right, we need to take a different plan of attack. The goal of this plan is to control and limit the inevitable weight gain. I am going to suggest you take a calendar and note all of the weight gaining situations you will be in for the entire season. This includes luncheons, parties, happy hours, appetizers after work, fund-raisers, everything! Now your plan of attack will be two-fold.
First is the diet. You are going to be cheating, more than normal, at the social events. This is going to require that attention be paid to the meals that are not at social events. Now look at your calendar of events. If you are going to a smaller event such as a luncheon, happy hour (singular!), or the like, I would cut late night eating for 3 days, or cut my largest meal in half for 3 days. For the larger social events that might include snacks, drinks, dinner, dessert, and more drinks (of course!), I would cut late night eating for the entire week, or cut my largest meal in half for the entire week, or both. If I was not a late night eater or do not eat a large meal, I would apply the same philosophy to the applicable bad behavior! Again, the more cushion we give ourselves in non-social events, the less impact the social events will have.
Part two of the attack is exercise. You are going to earn your holiday enjoyment. Again, look at your calendar and for every small event I am going to require you to dedicate two 30-minute sessions of high intensity calorie burning exercise. For the larger events, I am going to require two 1-hour sessions, or four 30-minute sessions of high intensity exercise. When I say high intensity, I mean out of your comfort zone! This must be performed before your event. Don’t kid yourself and think you will get it done after because you won’t.
For some of you social butterflies, this may mean that you are exercising and cutting calories to create a cushion for the entire month. If you cannot bite the bullet for a single month, Santa will bring a different type of cushion for you…butt cushion, hip cushion, and stomach cushion. So choose my Sensible Fitness plan or choose the next size up!
No matter how much you think you have exercised and cut your calories, it will never be enough to counteract gluttonous behavior, so don’t go bovine on me! If apply this plan, you should get through the holidays with minimal weight gain and you might even pick up some good habits to lead you into a happier and thinner new year.