Fitness Hacks to Beat the Holiday Bulge
by Laura L. Draskovich, A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer
Keeping up your fitness goals through the holiday season does not have to send you spiraling into despair. You are active and dedicated to your workouts, but now the thought of cooler weather has you singing the blues. Schedules have turned upside down with trips, parties, and visitors, and diets are derailed with high calorie comfort foods. You may say to yourself, “I’ll just pick it up after the New Year.” Sound familiar? It’s no wonder gyms are packed in January. However, keeping fit through the holidays is doable with some forethought and planning.
Here are some helpful ideas that I and others have used to shunt the dreaded holiday gut bust:
Stay Hydrated. Keep a bottle of water handy, especially when preparing meals. You will stay fuller and will be less likely to pick and snack on less healthy food as you go.
Plan Ahead. Keep healthy food handy. Include foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Having instant access to low calorie, nutritious food will provide you with quality fuel and will help to keep your weight in check.
Stagger Your Calories. By sticking to your clean eating plan the majority of the time, you can use large meals to work to your fat burning advantage.
Rearrange Your Calories. Another way to prevent holiday weight gain is to consume smaller meals with fewer calories throughout the day on days when food and festivities of the season will be in excess.
Drinking Your Calories. Chose libations with soda water instead of juice. Try adding lemon or lime instead of syrups for a fresh twist. Sugar-free, low, or no calorie water additives also work well to add flavor.
Keep stress levels in check. Alleviating tension will reduce the likelihood of making unhealthy choices:
Slow Down. Consider what is truly important. Appreciate the joys around you.
Sleep. Depriving yourself of needed rest wreaks havoc on stress hormones such as cortisol, which contributes to fat storage. Create a relaxing “wind down” routine that will prepare you mentally and physically for a good night’s sleep.
Limit or Avoid Sugar. Studies have shown a link between sugar consumption and depression. If you crave a sugar fix, reach for a piece of fruit or dark chocolate instead.
Yoga/Meditation. Schedule time to quiet your mind and relax tired muscles. There are a number of classes available in the area. Contact your gym or local recreation center.
Keep Your Body Moving Through the Holidays
Don’t write off November and December, waiting for the new year to set your fitness goals:
Incorporate Daily Activity. Yes, yardwork and housework does qualify, but why not take advantage of the best part of the year outdoors?
Change Up Your Routine. Tired of your current fitness routine? Change it up. Recruit a friend to take daily walks or runs or a bike ride. Join a fitness class. Sometimes change is good!
Set Realistic Goals
Don’t beat your head against the wall if you do not lose weight over the holidays! (If you do, I wouldn’t brag to any of your friends.) Weight loss is more than likely not going to happen during the holiday season. You can; however, maintain your fitness and keep the scale in check while embracing the joys of the season.
Here are a few resources that can help:
Internet. YouTube/Pinterest. You can find workouts of all types, from HIIT workouts, to yoga. There are many to chose from.
Personal Fitness Trackers. These track your daily calorie burn, sleep patterns, and more. Prices range from about $100 to $300.
Smartphone Apps. These fitness tools provide feedback based on your individual needs.
Personal Trainer. This fitness professional will motivate and guide you through an individually designed program with your fitness goals in mind.
For more information, contact Laura at (702) 600-8953, email@example.com, or at Mesquite Fitness Club, (702) 346-3111.