Every year around this time we start to hear news stories about the average holiday weight gain. Beginning with Halloween, there are sweet temptations everywhere. Some people can gain as much as five pounds over the holidays and even worse, it can take months to lose those holiday pounds. Is it really possible to avoid holiday weight gain? We all love holiday traditions, get togethers and of course, the food. It’s entirely possible tohandle this treacherous time of year so that you can face the New Year feeling good about yourself and the choices you made during the holiday season.
Here’s some tips that will set you up for success. Ready to learn how to stick to your weight loss goals? Here we go!
Always have a game plan for your day and any events on your schedule. Keep fridge and pantry on staples on hand that require little prep. Know what you’re doing, where you’re going to be and plan accordingly. Never to go an event hungry, and always keep some healthy snacks and treats in your bag. With more people following low carb diets, you can usually find a good protein source and salad or veggies at any gathering or restaurant.
Visualize Where You Want to Be
Visualization is a powerful tool. Close your eyes and picture yourself at your ideal weight, maybe in those skinny jeans you’ve been wanting to wear. How do you look? How does it feel? Imagine how awesome it will feel to be able to keep up with your kids or climbing a flight of stairs without getting winded. Paint a clear picture in your mind of the new, improved and leaner you. Make it a habit to visualize this slim and healthy version of yourself daily. This will help you to resist the temptations that you’re bound to face.
Some of us really struggle with bad choices and daily temptation. Just one cookie won’t hurt will it? Or you’re struggling to find motivation to workout. But before you know it, that whole plate of cookies is GONE and you haven’t done any form of exercise for over a week. Accountability can help you to stay on track. Find a friend who also wants to lose weight and hold each other accountable. If this sounds a little too intimidating or just isn’t your thing, consider keeping a journal. Just knowing that you’ll have to write down that cookie or ice cream binge may provide enough motivation to choose a healthier option.
Make It Attainable
While it’s important to push yourself, make sure that your goals are realistic for you. Don’t set an unrealistic goal to lose 30 lbs by New Year’s Day. Start with a smaller goals like making healthy food choices a daily habit. Get some natural movement in as well
Take Rest Breaks
If you have attainable goals and some accountability in place, it’s ok to take a little break from your workout every once in a while. In fact, except for low impact exercise like going for a walk, you don’t want to overdo it, especially if you have health issues or struggle with adrenal fatigue. 3 to 5 days of a solid work out is plenty. And it’s perfectly okay to have a treat on occasion (unless it sets you up for a downward spiral that will take you months to recover from.) Just make sure you work on getting exercise and eating healthy 90% of the time. Remember, slow, steady progress will yield the best results.
Create Good Habits
Begin to work on creating better and healthier habits. Make going for a daily walk part of your new lifestyle. Make positive food choices a family habit. Not only will it set you up for success now, those healthy habits will also help you keep the weight off long after you’ve reached your goal.
Losing weight is hard work. Be sure to celebrate small milestone, and don’t forget the non scale victories! Are your pants loser even if the scale didn’t budge? Did you made it out for a 30 minute walk each day this week? Celebrate with a manicure. Did you lose your first 15 pounds? Buy a new shirt or two or some new makeup. Reward yourself for each success and milestone reached.
As a busy mom, I’ve been finding it really helpful to incorporate healthy moving breaks into my day so that even if I’ve missed a workout, I’ve still got some muscle and bone building work in. Here’s some that I highly recommend and that I’ve been able to stick with over the long haul:
Healthy Moving is a wonderful program that teaches you how to naturally incorporate gentle health movement patterns into your day. Whether you only have a few minutes here and there or have some time for a full yoga practice, Healthy Moving has got you covered. It’s a wonderful option for moms with chronic illness because of it’s gentle approach. There are a lot of videos included but you’ll get weekly emails to help guide you through the program.
Leslie Sansone – Because of the nature of my chronic illness, I can’t do hard core exercise and even walking for more than a mile triggers muscle spasms. Leslie Sansone’s videos have been a great way for me to work in some much needed cardio 2-3 times a week.
Trim Healthy Mama – I started this plan in January of 2016 and am down 25 lbs. as of this writing. I could have been at my target weight by now but I meandered a little bit. Trim Healthy Mama has wonderful holiday and celebration meal options so that you never have to feel deprived. There are dozens of testimonies from women of all ages and fitness levels who have found wonderful success with it.
Made to Crave – Over the past year I’ve come to the realization that my disordered eating patterns are a form of chemical dependency and a spiritual issue that needed more help. I had Made to Crave sitting on my Kindle for a long time before I started to read it. It has shown me where I got off track – such relying on my own strength and simply not praying enough. I read from it a bit every single day and am slowly achieving victory over my lifelong destructive eating habits…one day at a time. There’s also a devotional that I HIGHLY recommend as well.
I hope these tips helped you to find some direction and focus. No matter how busy or old you are, or what chronic illness you are living with, you can stay on track and avoid holiday weight gain. And even if you slip up here and there, get right back in the saddle. Your next healthy meal is only three hours away!
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