10 Strategies to avoid holiday weight gain

The past 12 years of experience in the health and wellness industry has taught me a lot of things, but lets face it, you don’t need degree to figure out that most people struggle with maintaining a healthy weight over the holidays. This time of year is filled with celebrations that center around food. Mostly high calorie treats and alcoholic beverages that can take a toll on our waist line if we aren’t careful. In addition to the social gatherings, often people experience a certain level of stress which can also contribute to weight gain. Not only do people find themselves stress eating, but the cortisol your body creates as a reaction to stress also may lead to increase belly fat. Recognizing all of these potential threats to your health, I’m here to give you a list of 10 strategies to avoid gaining those unwanted pounds.

1. Don’t skip your workouts. If you know there are additional demands on your schedule this time of year, plan to get up a 1/2 hour earlier to get a quick workout in, or simply shorten your normal workouts and include quick burst of cardio to elevate calorie burn.

2. This time of year this one is easy to incorporate as the mall parking lot is often full…park at the back of the lot and get a few extra steps in on your way to do your holiday shopping.

3. Gather your friends and family for a post holiday meal walk, foot ball game or plan to walk/run a holiday race before the big meal. The food is always more satisfying if you work for it.

4. Before heading to a party, snack on a piece of fruit with some protein (small piece of hard cheese or nut butter). This will fill you up a little, so you’ll be less likely to over eat.

5. Keep your distance from the food table, and hold a drink (no necessarily alcohol) in one hand.

6. When indulging in a cocktail or two, drink a glass of water after each one. This will spread out the alcohol consumption. Remember that alcohol is nutrient sparing, meaning you must burn the calories from your drink before the calories from the food. As a result, much of your food gets stored as fat when you include cocktails.

7. If you are throwing a party, try a new healthy recipe to share and suggest that others do the same when contributing to the spread.

8. It’s fine to enjoy a traditional holiday treat, just remind yourself to slow down. This is not going to be the last time you will ever see this food.

9. When you’re at the food table, begin with the veggies and other healthy options before enjoying the treats.

10. Make time in your schedule for relaxation! Even if you take a few minutes for some breathing exercises, this could have a positive impact on reducing your cortisol levels. Yoga, a workout, a massage, a hot bath or even time to read a good book would also help with relaxation.

If you find this list helpful, print it out and put it somewhere as a reminder throughout this holiday season.

Happy Holidays from Evolution Fitness

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