More Than Fitness: Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

As the holidays get closer, there are so many wonderful things to look forward to. You will get to spend more time with your family, hopefully be able to take some time off work, and participate in your annual traditions that occur around this time. Unfortunately, another thing that tends to happen every year during the holiday season is dealing with weight gain. Studies show that 80% of annual weight gain happens between Thanksgiving and New Years’ which means the majority of us will start off 2018 a little heavier. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
There are several ways you can avoid gaining weight during the holiday season. You don’t have to be miserable during the holidays or feel like you are being left out just because you don’t want to gain weight.  By being more mindful of the choices you make and implementing a few changes before the holidays begin, you can maintain your weight and feel good about the choices you make.
It is a good idea to start eating healthy before the holidays begin. Start to experiment with recipes and food choices that you enjoy and think about healthier alternatives to some of the treats and holiday dishes you may normally bring to gatherings.
As we get into the busier holiday season, we often become less active as we are rushing around and out of our routines and what may be our regular physical activity pattern the rest of the year starts to dwindle as we move into the holidays. Before you get caught in this trap, make a plan for yourself to incorporate at least 15 minutes of physical activity into your daily routine each and every day of the week. Don’t have time to hit the gym?  There are many quick and easy home workouts you can incorporate into your day to replace your regular routine.
Finally, try to find ways to reduce your stress levels over the holidays. While it is a time of year that is filled with fun, family and friends, for many of us, it can also be a stressful time. So be sure to take some time every day for yourself. Get out for a walk, practice some deep breathing or meditation or use any other techniques that help you relax.
By staying focused on your goals for good health, you can enjoy the holiday season in such a way that you start off 2018 feeling good and ready to face the New Year!