During Halloween weekend, Richard and I attended a party with colleagues, where discussion quickly turned to diets. A successful dieter at the mid-point of her goal commented that she was taking a hiatus from her diet plan due to the upcoming holidays.
Although 40 pounds lighter at the halfway to goal mark, this successful dieter was about to embark on a 2 - month deviation from the nutritional plan that brought so much success.
Why would someone take such a long break from dieting when still 40 pounds away from goal weight? What is it the emotional catch to the holidays that gives sensible people a license to overindulge in food and alcohol while eliminating regularly established gym routines?
Only four holidays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day fall between October 31st and January 1st. However, these four days provide an excuse for overindulgence for more than a 60 day period of time. Why?
In the world of bodybuilding, many utilize nutrition plans with planned "cheat days" that take place once per week while maintaining fit physiques. Other nutrition plans include carbohydrate cycling where days of higher carbohydrate levels are planned as part of an overall nutrition plan.
If we can plan cheat days and high carb days, doesn't it make sense that we can plan for four holidays within the last quarter of the year? Planning for the holidays will make a myth of holiday weight gain.
Tips To Prevent Holiday Weight Gain
Every Plan Needs A Goal
Whether it is losing weight or gaining mass, you can achieve your goals during the holiday season.
Set your goal and write it down so that you are accountable to the goal. Then be sure to review your goal on a daily basis. This is especially important during this time of year when you are surrounded by temptations.
Jamie Eason's Holiday Tips: Visualization & Reaching Your Goals!
Watch The Video - 00:12
Use The Gym To Relieve Stress
Extra shopping and holiday social events will strain an already overloaded schedule. Indulge yourself with stress-free time where the focus is on your workout. Your workout and/or cardio session will release endorphins that are a natural mood elevator
Enjoy The Calm Before The Storm At The Gym
The gyms are quiet at this time of year so you will be able to get in and out quickly. A month from now it will be pure madness at the gym with lots of newbies interrupting sets and creating chaos. Make the most of this period of uninterrupted solitude and focus on creating a legendary physique for the spring season.
Change Some Traditions
We fully enjoy our holiday feasts and then head to the beach for a walk. For those of you in the snowy north, bundle up the kids and go sledding or have a snowball fight. No matter what the climate, get outdoors and enjoy the holiday with your family.
Be Prepared At Home & On The Road
The extra demands at this time of year can be very taxing and those time crunches make it easy to grab for the wrong foods. Keeping a well-stocked pantry with favorite protein bars, MRP's and whey protein provide sound nutritional choices when time is short.
Plan Ahead For Social Gatherings
Keep A Nutrition Journal Where You Write Everything Down
Many of you will be surprised at how quickly those little tastes and bites add up to an extra 500-1000 calories per day. Three holiday cookies each day for a week equals 1.5 extra pounds. Think about how hard you'll need to work in January to get those extra pounds off. Is the cookie really worth the effort?
Eat Clean To Avoid Sugar Cravings
Sugar cravings make you consume more sugary carbohydrates, which makes you crave more sugar. To avoid this vicious carbohydrate craving cycle, eat foods that are low on the glycemic index. By consuming only complex carbohydrates, the cravings will disappear and satiety levels will rise.
You can enjoy the holidays and your family by taking care of yourself throughout the holiday season. Sticking to a solid nutrition and exercise program enhances mood, reduces stress and improves overall health.
So, if you really care for your family and want the very best for them this holiday season you must first give yourself the gift of health and wellness.