Create a Plan for Success
Our most successful clients have been those who have a plan in place before the holidays begin. Our clients succeed by doing the following things:
- adhering to regular workouts (designed by a trainer) or at least 30 minutes of walking daily, and committing to using the stairs and parking their cars farther away from their destination
- following meal plans that include breakfast every day, frequent small meals, fruits and veggies at each meal and sufficient water
- eating a healthy snack before attending holiday gatherings
- going easy on alcohol, caffeine, energy drinks and soda
- eating foods that combat stress (salmon, tuna, turkey, chicken, beans and legumes, walnuts and other nuts, flaxseed, olive oil, whole grains, oats, asparagus, spinach and other dark green veggies, pomegranate, berries and dark chocolate (72% cocoa or higher)
- using relaxation techniques that reach the pleasure center of the brain (yoga, meditation, hot baths, great music, sex)
- recruiting the help of supportive people (spouses, significant others, friends, family, trainers)
- removing temptations from the house
- getting 6–8 hours of sleep per night
- asking for help when feeling overwhelmed
- having a nonfood reward system
- enjoying fun and humor!
Do the Math
Our first tip for clients is to be realistic with what food and drink they have in their homes—to keep only ‘normal’ amounts and have healthy alternatives on hand where possible. If we are in an environment with high-calorie, poor-quality food, we are much more likely to pile on weight.
In many cases you may not even realize how much you could be eating! Think about the calories in the food you may be consuming over the holidays and how much exercise it will take to work them off.
Move Your Focus Away From Food
The holidays pose a particular subset of challenges and while we talk about the holiday ‘season,’ for most of us there are really only a few key days or events that can trigger overeating. Look at your holiday calendar and decide when and how you would like to treat yourself. “Budget” for these occasions by sticking to your physical activity routines and eating healthfully during the rest of the season. Redirect your focus away from holiday foods and onto family, friends, traditions and whatever personal, religious or spiritual meaning they find in the season.
Thanks to IDEAFit for helpful ideas.