The holidays are a time to gather and be thankful with friends and family. This means comforting meals with loved ones, delicious seasonal treats, and relaxation. By the time you are clearing out the tree and removing the Christmas lights, you may find your skinny jeans to be extra skin tight. If you’ve gained a few extra holiday pounds, sticking with your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight can sound like a daunting task. Here are some tips you can use to lose weight and stay in shape during the holiday season so you have a head start going into the New Year. Your future self will thank you.
Tip #1 To Lose Weight and Get in Shape Before the New Year: Make a Workout Calendar
Having a visual aid will hold you accountable for exercising. You are more likely to incorporate a sweat session in your day if you plan ahead. If you prefer working out in the morning, lay your gym clothes out the night before so you’ll be ready to go in the AM. If you only have time after work, pack a bag and head straight to the gym once you’ve clocked out. Pack a healthy snack if you know your rumbling tummy will tempt you to skip the exercise for a home cooked meal. A good example is a banana and peanut butter, chocolate milk, or yogurt with fruit. Post your exercise calendar somewhere that you see every day, the larger the better, and enjoy the satisfaction of drawing a big check mark next to each completed workout. If something comes up and you miss a workout, don’t stress. Pencil in a makeup as soon as possible or add some extra reps in your next scheduled gym session.
Tip #2 Keep a Food Journal
You can make this as simple or detailed as you like. Keep track of your meals so you have a better idea of the amount of calories you are consuming. Writing down everything will make you think twice about eating that extra slice of pumpkin pie. There are also a number of apps available for free on your smartphone that will keep track for you. Some contain calorie content for various foods and meals from your favorite restaurants. Commit to at least one week of recording all your meals. After a week if you want to continue, great, or you can scale back and keep track every other day if you feel confident you won’t overindulge on your off days.
Tip #3 Workout Even When You’re Out of Town
Traveling to your relative’s home for Thanksgiving weekend? Going on holiday? Don’t let your days away from home stop you from breaking a sweat. If you are staying at a hotel, check to see beforehand that it has a gym. Some hotels even offer group classes, and complimentary workout gear such as running shoes that might not fit in your suitcase. You can pack equipment that takes up virtually no room in your bag, such as a jump rope and a resistance band. Check the TV for exercise channels offering yoga or indoor circuits. Various websites,apps, and bloggers also post free exercise videos you can view from your IPad, phone, or laptop. These exercises can be performed anywhere at any time.
Tip #4 Incorporate Healthy Choices in Your Daily Activities
All the small things add up over time. Choose the farthest parking spot during your holiday shoppingtrip for extra walking. Skip the line at the elevator and climb the stairs. Keep a bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter and place healthy foods in the front of your refrigerator where they are easily grab-able. Don’t want your leftover bake goods going bad? No need to scarf down a batch of cookies. Freeze them and store for another occasion. Don’t underestimate the importance of drinking enough water throughout the day and getting quality shut eye. During meals, fill your plate with healthy veggies and lean protein first and take small bites of your favorite sides and desserts. Making healthy choices will help you stay in shape during the most wonderful time of the year.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Lori Ann