Some studies indicate that the average American gains up to ten pounds during the year end holiday season. If you have gained in the past or fear falling of the wagon of your own weight loss, there is reason to be concerned. In order to avoid holiday weight gain you will need a plan. Follow these steps and you can stay trim during the holiday season.
- Create a plan. The holidays are a busy time and you probably will make several lists and plans. You will need to decide which events to go to, what gifts to buy and for whom, what cards to send, how to decorate and even what to serve at your own parties and special meals. With all that planning going on you should remember to take time to plan for your health and diet as well.
- Write it down. Put your plan in motion by writing it down. Keep notes in your bag so you can look at them whenever you feel tempted. Keep motivating photos with your plan if you can.
- Increase your exercise routine. When it comes to maintaining your weight the simple rules apply. You need to consume no more calories than you burn. So if you intend to let yourself splurge on the occasional holiday treat then you will need to balance the calories with additional calorie burn.
- Prepare for parties. You don't have to avoid events in order to stay on track with your diet. Instead you need to go in prepared. Eat a small meal before you leave home so you will be less tempted to snack. Tuck some sugar free candy in your pockets or purse to suck on when you pass the dessert table.
- Allow one treat per event. When you develop your plan, be sure to allow some splurging. This is not cheating; it is planned treats. Allow yourself a hot chocolate or a taste of pie at a special event. If you decide that you will have one cocktail at your company gathering, then give up the dessert for that event. By planning your treats you will be better able to negotiate with yourself and create a guilt-free zone.
- Plan non-food treats and events. While holiday parties seem to be about mingling and eating, they don't have to be. Plan your own events between meals when you can so that dining isn't the first priority. Plan a family movie or game instead of a meal.
- Drink more water. Water is the best asset to any healthy weight plan. Drink water before meals and events so that you will feel full and not be tempted to snack. Drink water instead of alcohol or after alcohol consumption so you can stay hydrated and help your body function. Sometimes you just need to have a drink in hand during social interactions and no one cares if you are sipping water instead of wine.
- Reward yourself with something else. Gifts and special things are prevalent during the holidays so finding a reward that doesn't involve food may be difficult. Consider an afternoon off to do nothing, a movie with the kids or a date with your spouse as a treat instead of that new pair of shoes or night out drinking with the girls.
Holiday weight gain does not have to be a foregone conclusion. Instead you can take control and avoid the weight gain if you follow these steps, create a plan and give yourself some room to enjoy the season.