Beware! It’s holiday eating time. And that means more candy, stuffing, pies, cookies and other high calorie foods and drinks.
The next few days are the most difficult time of the year for those who are trying to maintain their weight. Most people will gain at least a few pounds and many will gain more. It’s best not to try to deny yourself all of the holiday food pleasures. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a good meal or an occasional treat. But do it in moderation.
Try eating especially well when you’re at home and when you’re on your own. This will minimize the impact when you do take in a few extra calories at social gatherings.
When you go shopping, load up on healthy food so it’s readily available for you. If you have vegetables, fruits and low calorie snacks on hand, you’re more likely to avoid falling to the temptation of the unhealthier options.
Also, when there are higher calorie or higher fat treats you want to try, eat small portions and include other healthier options as well. Eating a variety of foods will help ensure that you don’t overdo it on any one food.
Another hint is to start eating several smaller meals throughout the day. If you prepare your food in advance, you can eat healthy smaller meals every few hours. This will significantly reduce the desire to nibble on the candy and other snacks that will be on everyone’s desks and countertops.
And, it’s not just a change in eating habits that present a challenge. There will also be more time spent shopping, attending get togethers, and traveling, meaning you’ll have less time for your regular workouts.
For the next couple weeks, take every opportunity you have to get to the gym, even if it’s not your regular workout day or time. You can bet there will be times when something comes up to keep you out of the gym during your regular times so these extra workouts will be needed.
Even if you only have time for a few sets or some cardio, take advantage of the time whenever it presents itself. And if you can’t make it to the gym, take a walk, do some ab work on the floor, or find another way to burn some calories. Every little bit will help.
The upcoming holidays will present you with many challenges to your health, fitness, and eating routines. Pick your battles wisely, give in when you need to, and stay diligent. If you do, you’ll avoid the additional pounds and may be able to enjoy the holidays a little more.
Kent Pegg is a certified personal trainer and the owner of the Los Alamos Fitness Center. Direct questions about the information in this column to him at 505.662.5232.