Your Holiday Survival Guide
By Becky Fox
It's that time of year again for pumpkin pie, eggnog, Christmas cookies, and holiday party after holiday party. A little treat there, a little treat here, and by New Year's Day you can no longer button your pants. How is that possible? Well, the average person gains about 5 pounds during the holiday season. All that overeating, sweet treats, and alcohol consumption add up and add on to that waistline. So this season, let's agree to avoid participating in the Santa belly trend!
First, eat something healthy before you arrive at your holiday party destination. When we are hungry we not only eat more, but we make poorer food choices. So, if you arrive at a party ravished, you are more likely to reach for those yummy frosted sugar cookies rather than the colorful tray of assorted veggies, and instead of just one cookie you may end up eating five or six or....
My personal favorite is to have a plan of action. On a larger scale, create a plan for the whole season around your nutrition and fitness goals. Write them out if you have to. On the smaller scale, plan out what you will or won't eat before you even arrive for the occasion. Make an effort to avoid any triggers that may cause you to overeat or that cause you to eat the wrong foods. You may even offer to bring a healthy side dish in the event that none is prepared. For example, I always bring along a big bowl of fruit to eat to satisfy my sweet tooth.
How many times have we eaten till our bellies are so full we can't move, especially on Thanksgiving? I can definitely recall more than one. Here is where those key words -- portion control -- come into play. Go ahead, have that glass of eggnog, but stop there instead of gulping down the whole carton. The key is to eat what you love once in awhile. Don't deprive yourself of those foods you love, but rather just eat a little bit.
Furthermore, stay active during the holiday season and don't make any excuses to skip those workouts! If you are currently on an exercise routine, keep it up, and if not, it's never too late to get started. Exercising will help to keep your appetite under control, stress levels manageable, as well as allow you to burn some extra calories.
Finally, focus on what the holidays are for. Although food may be part of it, the main focus is really about spending time with friends and family and having a good time. If you fall off track one day, just stay focused and get back on track the following day.
Becky Fox is owner of Fox Fitness, a Knoxville-based in-home and outdoor personal fitness company. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.