Skip the Seasonal 7: Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain, Part 1

The Seasonal 7 is a real thing – if you eat just 3 extra cookies a day (beyond your normal eating habits) from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Eve, you’d already be facing a weight gain of up to 5 pounds.

The end of the year doesn’t have to be a downhill slide into stretchy pants.  Just five minutes of planning using these first three tips can set you on path of staying healthy and at least maintaining the fitness results you’ve worked so hard for all year.

Ready to gobble gobble?

Before you enter your potato coma, here are three things you can do right now to keep you on track for the rest of the season.

  1. List your three favorite holiday foods.  Without these foods, it just wouldn’t be the holidays for you.
    Why: knowing what you’re really looking forward to makes it easier to turn down another slice of office fruitcake or your third-favorite kind of pie.
    Action plan: enjoy these three foods, but keep all of the other holiday treats in moderation (or even smaller portions).
  2. List this year’s three holiday events that mean the most to you. You definitely won’t be skipping these – and you might even be looking forward to them.
    Why: if you go all-in at every holiday gathering you’re invited to between now and 2016, you might find that your waistline has gone all-out.  You do not have to skip the less-meaningful events, but you might want to keep those “celebrations” (arm-breaking plates from the buffet) more limited.
    Action plan: enjoy these events, but fill up on healthy foods before you attend others that matter less to you. You won’t feel deprived, and your clothes will still fit.
  3. Schedule your workouts for the week. Don’t try to go past this week, but do remember to schedule your workouts for the week every Sunday or Monday.
    Why: your schedule is probably a little different around this time of year, and scheduling headaches are one of the top reasons that people “fall off the wagon” during the holiday season – something bumps your workout from its usual spot, and weeks go by before you remember to get back to where you left off.  Schedule whatever you can fit in for the week, and accept that each week might be different.
    Action plan: knowing when you can fit in your workouts will make you much more likely to get them done.  You need to stick to your schedule to keep your energy levels and immune system up anyhow, so get working!

Part 2 is all about how to keep your healthy motivation up when distractions are abundant, and how to make your favorite holiday dishes a little healthier.  Stay tuned!

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