It hangs pretty darn heavily, to tell the truth. It's not easy to maintain a moderate weight, much less lose some pounds over the holidays. There are just too many things going on, and also the stress of running around trying to get everything just right for these last celebratory days of the year seems to knock everything out of whack.
Stress eating is at an all time high, and consumption of fast food from food courts and eating on the run is also a big source of extra holiday calories. And last but not least, the fatigue you feel after all the prepping, shopping, wrapping, lighting, tree trimming, decorating and cooking for the big events leaves you not wanting to lift another finger, much less stick to your workout plan as usual.
So, here are a few tips to keep it all in check until the New Year's resolutions kick in:
Tip #1 - Have a plan. Whether it's for your shopping trip, house decorating, or prepping holiday dinner, create a time line in which you're going to try to get everything done. Make lists of all the things you need to buy, places you need to go, what you need to do, and then arrange everything in a sensible, easy to accomplish order. This will help you keep some structure in the midst of all the chaos.
Tip #2 - Eat BEFORE you go out to shop. Do not go thee forward into that shopping center or mall on a half empty stomach! Shopping, while not an Olympic sport, DOES burn up a lot of energy, and after you've exhausted yourself a bit at the big sales, you're gonna want to eat, because the body is then demanding some fuel. That's when you get into the food court danger zone. Eating a full meal (be it breakfast, lunch or whichever applicable meal it is) before you hit the stores will help to circumvent the bad, calorie laden mall food temptations.
Tip #3 - Workout BEFORE you get to that busy part of your day. Even if it means getting up earlier to do it. Even if you can't make it to the gym. You can do a jog around your neighborhood, or just do a quick 30 minute to 1 hour workout at home, with or without a DVD. Don't have one? Turn on Fit TV, or just put some music on and GO TO IT. Make it up as you go along, if you have to. And once again, get the workout in before you do the other stuff. If you wait until later, your energy will probably be depleted, and then you won't do anything. Not good. Get that workout in FIRST.
Tip #4 - Don't use the holidays as an excuse to fall off your regimen and fitness plan. "Everybody gains weight during the holidays" is NOT an acceptable excuse to slack up! Remain sensible, and while you can't help but to have some fun with holiday parties, goodies, and treats, be sure to balance it out with good healthy eating and stick to regular workouts, even if you have to vary up the times. If you do go a bit crazy, throw a couple extra workouts in each week to make up. What you take out of your fitness bank, you have to be sure to put back in.
And that's basically it! No need for a long list. Just a few good, basic, common sense solutions that will have you looking and feeling your best all the way past the ball drop. And then you won't even have to put "losing some lbs" on your list of New Year's resolutions. You can just hit the ground running. Not a bad way to go!
Happy Holidays! ;)
** The Fitness Diva® is a top fitness trainer and instructor living in New York City. The name "The Fitness Diva" is solely her official registered trademark. Anyone else using the name or mark is subject to a lawsuit.