Avoiding holiday weight gain can be a real struggle. With all of the delicious treats and savory foods available during the holiday season, how can you resist? The truth is that you don’t necessarily have to resist holiday temptations, simply do your best to stay on track with your exercise routine and eat in moderation. To help avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain, we would also like to offer a few tips to help you stay on track.
Create & Stick to an Exercise Routine
With any exercise routine, it helps to have and stick to an exact schedule. However, since the holiday season is such a busy time of year for many of you, it is often best to work your exercise routine into the morning schedule. When you jumpstart your day with exercise, you are starting the day on the right foot, and this helps ensure better behavior throughout the rest of the day. Plus if you don’t necessarily enjoy exercising, doing it in the morning, you get it out of the way so that it isn’t lingering over you all day.
It may also help to mix up your exercise routine and do something new and exciting! An excellent way to do this is to take your routine to a new location like a pool. If swimming is something you enjoy, The Redwood Club Petaluma has a beautiful 4-lane indoor pool where you can swim laps on your own time or join in for one of the regularly scheduled aquatic exercise classes. If looking for a more structured routine, you may want to try a TRC team training class run by trainers, which are guaranteed to get you results!
Be Selective with Your Food
Stop and think before loading up your plate with food. Often, people believe that if they load up their plates with a bunch of healthy foods, they will leave little room for the bad stuff and therefore, won’t eat it. This isn’t always the case because there is always the option for seconds.
Instead of trying to trick yourself into eating healthy, pick out the stuff you want to eat. If the item isn’t the healthiest, don’t stress too much about it and just eat it in moderation. Remember, you can enjoy holiday foods without overindulging. If you are one for desserts, it may help to stick to a three bite rule, which can provide you the satisfaction of eating the dessert without having to eat ALL of the calories.
Avoid Saving Calories & Do Not Arrive Hungry
It is also wise to avoid saving calories so that you can overindulge in the evening without feeling guilty. Why is this? In using this strategy, you will be setting yourself up for failure because when skimping on calories throughout the day, you may become more hungry than usual and overindulge. It is important never to arrive at a party or get together when hungry. Instead, try and eat a nutritious snack before heading out and when that is unavailable, try drinking a glass of water before going over to the food.
Steer Clear of the Leftovers
Eating a decadent holiday meal one time isn’t really going to cause much damage to your dieting plan. However, if you eat the meal repeatedly over the course of a week, you can potentially cause a stir in your dieting plan. To help avoid eating an unhealthy meal over and over again, offer to send leftovers home with your guests or try to make just enough food for the one meal. This way, you aren’t faced with temptation every time you open the refrigerator.
Say No and Strengthen Your Willpower
In situations where you aren’t hungry or don’t need to be eating, just say no thank you. For example, when a co-worker is passing around a box of chocolates or the office orders a fresh batch of donuts from the local bakery, just say no! In case you are unaware of this fact, willpower is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it will become so the more you can successfully say no to temptations, the better you will become at doing it.
Limit Your Alcohol Consumption
Most of us understand that drinking alcohol is a way to consume empty calories but limiting alcohol is about more than just that. You don’t want to get carried away with the alcohol. It is easier to lose control of what you are eating if you overindulge in alcoholic beverages.
When Cooking Watch How Much You are Tasting
When people are preparing food, they can quickly lose track of how much they are consuming while tasting the food they are cooking. This snacking or tasting often goes unnoticed so be aware of it and try to limit yourself. If it helps, set a goal for yourself and limit yourself to say, two small tastes per dish that you are preparing.
Use Small Plates
Over the years, plate sizes have become larger so revert to what they used to use and when you can, grab a smaller salad plate to use for dinner. Salad plates are usually around 8-10 inches and are smaller than dinner plates, which are typically 12 inches or larger. When you use smaller plates, you can trick your brain to feel fuller with less food. How is this, you ask? We tend to associate space on a plate with eating less food, so we feel less satisfied than if we can load up a small plate with the same amount of food.
If you are someone that struggles with holiday weight gain, follow the tips mentioned above. Remember, every little bit of effort on your part will help you stay on track!
We at the Redwood Club are committed to helping you every step of the way. Remember to stay strong, practice willpower and get in that exercise. If looking for an extra push of motivation, try one of the Redwood Club’s
Group Exercise Classes
Check out our monthly exercise schedule and workout at the best gym in Petaluma!