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Brace For Impact – The Holidays are here

Every year around this time, I write an article about the upcoming holidays. Well, here we go again! Another holiday season has arrived and so has endless meals, parties that fill up every weekend on our calendars and food that seems to show up in every room of our house. Shaking our heads with disappointment, we can’t help but feel like it’s almost impossible to avoid gaining a few unwanted pounds.

Do you ever wonder why so many people are so worried about what they eat between Thanksgiving and the New Year? Are you just as confused as I am? Shouldn’t we all be paying more attention to what we eat between the New Year and Thanksgiving?

We all know that the best way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more. When the holiday’s roll around why does it seem like we eat more and exercise less? I understand that your co-workers home-made cookies, that glass of ice cold eggnog and that scrumptious chocolate Santa are hard to resist, but for God’s sake, get ahold of yourself! What are you doing? Are a few months of pleasurable indulgences really worth sabotaging all of your hard work?

As we sit slumped over in our chairs post-holiday meal, we wonder if there is ever going to be an end to the madness. Why do we continue to do this to ourselves every year? Why can’t we just say no? Why do we always seem to have no self-control?

We can’t avoid it, we can’t sleep through it, and we can’t pretend it’s not going to happen so the holiday season leaves us with two choices. We can brace for impact, brave the storm and hope for the best or go with the motto ‘Tis the Season’ and allow ourselves to indulge without going overboard.

Trisha HundshamerSince most of us already struggle with our weight and the will to exercise on a daily basis, this is something we just can’t sweep under the rug. Before you lock the door, shut off all the lights and refuse to celebrate another holiday season, here are a few ways to keep your weight and your waistline in check this holiday season:

  • If you don’t want it, why are you eating it? How many times have you eaten something that’s put in front of you (that doesn’t even look good) because you’re trying to be polite? Bah Hum Bug! Don’t take in extra calories for stupid reasons! Politely say “No Thank You.” End of story.
  • Have a plan before you go to a party! Know what you CAN and what you CAN’T have and stick to your guns. If it’s one drink you said you would allow yourself to have, only have one drink. If you said you were going to pass on dessert, skip it. It’s really that easy!
  • Don’t skip meals. Eat your regular meals at their regularly scheduled times. You will be less likely to eat everything in sight if you keep yourself satisfied throughout the day.
  • Go easy on dips, chips, sauces, and desserts. These food items can be deceptively high in calories and fat. If it looks too good to be true, chances are it probably is.
  • Stay away from the buffet table. It’s never a good idea to be standing in front of a smorgasbord of food with a giant plate or bottomless bowl in your hands. Choice two or three healthy foods and take just one trip up to the table.
  • Go easy on the alcohol. Sorry guys, but alcohol can increase your appetite and lower your resolve to resist overeating. In addition, many holiday drinks have as many or more calories than a dessert. Try to limit yourself to one alcoholic beverage per occasion.
  • Move! Here’s a fact for you. Thinking about going to the gym burns between zero and zero calories. Even if you only have thirty minutes a day, it’s better than doing nothing at all. Go for an early morning jog, hit the gym after work, or go for a walk after a big holiday meal. Park at the opposite end of the mall when you do your holiday shopping and use the stairs instead of the elevator every chance you have.
  • Stay active to reduce stress. Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce the stress associated with the holidays. Stress can be a huge trigger for people with little or no self-control. Take advantage of the cooler weather. Go sledding, build a snowman, ski, or have a snowball fight with the in-laws.
  • Say NO to the doggie bag. Taking home left overs will only encourage late night snacking. Politely say no to the overflowing Tupperware containers that are waiting for you when you leave.
  • Slow down. It takes your body about twenty minutes to realize that you are full, and it’s easy to get carried away when you are in the company of friends and family. Push yourself away from the table and take a minute to be conscious of what and how much you are eating. Ask yourself, are you really hungry?   
  • Get back on schedule. Weight loss is very much like driving. If you take a wrong turn, just head back in the right direction. It’s never too late to turn things around!puff-pastry-74358_640

In Conclusion:

Our sedentary lifestyles and lack of self-control are the real culprits for our holiday battle against weight gain. You won’t have to dread stepping on the scale when the holiday season comes to an end if you just take control and plan ahead! You can still enjoy the holidays with family, friends and the ones you love. Just make healthy food choices, eat in moderation, and stay active.

Remember, it’s not about what you do once in a while it’s about what you do every day. It’s your day-to-day habits that will have the biggest impact on your weight loss efforts. Be safe, have fun and enjoy the season! Happy Holidays!

Did you or someone you know become noticeably healthier, stronger, leaner, and more physically fit from a new commitment to exercise? Go to Champions Fitness-Center on Facebook, request us as a friend and share your personal success story! Inspire others to get in shape! We want to hear all about it.

I am currently certified by the National Sports Conditioning Association, Apex Fitness Group, and the International Sports Science Association. If you have a question and/or topic you would like me to discuss please e-mail me at isellgraphs@aol.com. If you would like to set up a free consultation with one of our certified fitness professionals please call Champions Fitness at 452-5522.


Champions Fitness Center member Trisha Hundshamer.

Jennifer Nastasi Guzelak
I have been a personal trainer for over seventeen years and I absolutely love what I do. I honestly feel that I have one of the best jobs out there! The most rewarding part of my profession is helping one of my clients succeed at reaching their personal fitness goals. Making a difference in someone’s life makes it all worthwhile. I am currently certified by the National Sports Conditioning Association, Apex Fitness Group, and the International Sports Science Association.