It's getting colder and the holidays are right around the corner. I love the holidays spending time with family and friends. Having big thanksgiving dinners with more delicious food choices than your nearest buffet. The average American Turkey Day dinner is about 3,000 calories.
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Not to mention the leftovers you are persuaded by your in laws to take home and eat for the next month. Don't forget the fun holiday parties with unlimited amounts of food, wine, and champaign.
The colder weather also contributes to sweet cravings and laziness. How can you say no to all the temptations? How can you possibly avoid weight gain or stay on track with your nutrition program? I will tell you how in 7 steps. By the end of this article you will have a plan on attacking the holiday pounds and temptations, while still being able to enjoy yourself.
Attack 1 Focus Your Workouts
Focus your workouts on fat blasting. What I mean by fat blasting is stick to high intensity workouts for a short duration. If you are traveling you don't have to go searching for a gym and spend too much time away from your family. If you have access to a gym then wonderful.
This workout will fire up your metabolism, organize your thoughts, boost your mental health, and relieve stress. You will then be more focused on your goals and be in the mind frame to resist the holiday traps. Below is a sample workout program you can do in under 20 minutes. You can do this anywhere anytime.
An excellent lower body workout that will tone your butt and legs, while increasing your heart rate. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart.
Squat as if sitting down on a chair. Take a breath in through your stomach on the way down. This is the important part, when you stand back up, squeeze your butt cheeks very hard, exhale out, and brace your abs. Hold for one second. Repeat 25-50 times.
If you don't have access to a jump rope, jumping jacks will work.
Find a pace to where you can jump rope for 1 minute without stopping. If you are unable to jump a stationary bike or a cardio machine at high intensity will work as well.
Push ups will strengthen your chest, triceps, and shoulders. Start with your toes on the floor and place your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Keep your head aligned with your body by looking down at the floor.
Inhale as you lower yourself to the floor slowly, bending your elbows slightly back behind you. Exhale pushing your body away from the floor, while straightening your arms out. 10-20 times. If this is too difficult start on your knees.
Slow Power Crunches
Lie on your back, feet flat on wall/bench and your knees at about a 45 degree angle. Put a big shoe between your knees to hold or a little ball if you have one.
Cross your hands over your chest. While squeezing your butt cheeks and the shoe between your knees slowly sit up. Focus on staying tense in your abs throughout.
You have to stay tight by holding your breath on the way up and slowly letting air out. 8-10 reps should take about a minute. Warning: Do not hold your breath if you have high blood pressure.
Go through each workout back to back with no more than 1 minute rest. Repeat 3 times and stretch for 5 minutes to decrease the chances of soreness.
Attack 2 BYOHD
Bring your own healthy dish. You can find many healthy dish recipes here on Bodybuilding.com. Relatives can be your worst enemy with convincing you to try all their fattening dishes.
Attack 3 Snack Before Hand
Have a snack before you leave for the party. This way you will feel sustained and not end up binging when you arrive. Good snacks can be a handful of nuts, a small protein shake, or an apple with a hardboiled egg.
Attack 4 Don't Drink
Avoid alcohol as much as possible. Not only does alcohol have tons of calories, it can also inhibit your judgment and you will find yourself eating every thing in site. If you have to have alcohol try limiting yourself to one during your meal. Stay away from sodas and fruit juices as well.
Many people at parties feel they need to be holding something to be social. Drinking plenty of water with a squeeze of lemon will be your best alternative. Green tea is great as well and can speed up your metabolism.
Attack 5 Reward Yourself
Make sure you reward yourself with your favorite food. If you constantly deprive yourself you may decide you are unable to keep your diet and find yourself binging or miserable. You may become cranky and no one will want to be around you.
Keep your spirits up and let yourself have a small serving of that pecan or pumpkin pie that you had your eye on all night. That will keep you on track and your mood up.
Attack 6 Choose Wisely
When choosing what to eat, fill your plate up mostly with the vegetable dishes. Pick the lean meats without the skin. Stay away from the baked breads. If you feel you have to try a dish that is relatively high in fat or sugar keep the portion very small.
Attack 7 Take A Walk
Go for a 15-20 minute brisk walk after dinner. Instead of letting the turkey take over and make you tired, get some fresh air. You might be able to convince your significant other or relatives to come with you for some bonding time.
So there it is! A seven step plan of attack to beat the holiday weight gain and temptations. Print out this article and keep it with you during the holidays and you will be reminded to stay on track. Turn new years and you will not be killing yourself to lose the pounds you put on during the holidays like the rest of America.