The average weight gain between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is not the seven to ten pounds that many people believe it is, but actually closer to one pound. The problem though, is that most people don’t usually lose this one pound once they’ve gained it. And over the course of time, this can add up to an ever increasing weight problem. But fear not, weight fighters! With just a few strategies, you can avoid holiday weight gain while still enjoying friends, family and the holiday celebrations!
Here’s my first bit of advice. Enjoy yourself! Holidays are meant for fun and celebration. Second…..No guilt! I guarantee you that feeling guilty will not motivate you to eat less. It will simply keep you from enjoying what you do eat.
OK, so what CAN you do to keep the scale from creeping up?
- Think 80/20. This simple little rule can change the way you live forever (not just the holidays). Eat healthy and exercise most of the time. Give yourself a 20 percent wiggle room. For example, stay the course all week with clean eating and workouts and lighten up on your rules on the weekend. Enjoy an office holiday party but then get right back to healthier eating the next day. The 80/20 rule is a realistic way to manage what you eat and how often you exercise. It works during the holidays and year-round.
- 2-Day Rule. I heard this rule recently and LOVE IT! Never eat off plan or miss out on your exercise sessions more than 2 days in a row. Observing the 2-Day Rule provides you with a flexible framework and an easy system to stay on track. You can miss two workouts, but never more than two workouts in a row. Same thing with eating. This is especially helpful if you tend to “Start over on Monday” once you’ve overindulged. Nope, resume your healthy eating with your next meal.
- If you are going to splurge, eat only the food you love. Give yourself a holiday treat once in a while. But make sure it’s special. If Aunt Eloise has baked her world famous, secret recipe, decadent dessert and this is the only time of the year you can enjoy it….go for it (in moderation, of course). But those store bought cookies, meh! Take a hard pass.
- Edit your choices. Deprivation can fuel desire. So instead of dwelling on all the holiday treats you shouldn’t have, edit your choices. (Drop the word diet and rearrange those letters to spell edit.) Editing what you want means making small changes to your choices. Eat one cookie instead of three. Plan a healthy, satisfying lunch so you aren’t tempted by break room treats in your office. Decide what to eat less of, more of or what to cut, but take it day by day so controlling what you eat is more manageable.