Durban - It’s that time of year again. The holiday season is upon us and you know what that means – parties, holiday and food.
Unfortunately, while these holiday activities might be great for our spirits, they’re often not so great for helping us make progress on our health and fitness goals.
Often, holiday weight gain is so bad that we just give up altogether and tell ourselves we’ll do better in the new year.
Maybe you’ve worked hard on your health and fitness goals all year and are thinking about letting loose during the holiday season. Or, maybe you’re someone who never quite got around to starting your nutrition and fitness plan this year and have made a mental promise to start your new healthy journey on January 1.
Regardless of where you are on your personal health journey, consider the potential to make this your healthiest holiday season ever.
That’s right. It may seem like a radical notion during the holiday season, but what if you simply tried to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the holidays instead of over-indulging? How amazing would it feel to come out of the holiday season maintaining your weight? While everyone else will be facing January 1 making dramatic resolutions because they enjoyed the holiday season a little too much, you’ll simply be continuing on your health and fitness journey – and won’t that feel great?
Avoiding holiday weight gain doesn’t have to mean avoiding the holiday festivities.
Here are Clayton’s fit, fun and festive tips:
* No “saving” calories. Don’t starve all day to enjoy a party at night. Skipping your breakfast and lunch is not a good way to avoid weight gain. In fact, you’ll probably find yourself eating twice as much when you finally get to the party because you’re so hungry. Additionally, you may find yourself experiencing a drop in blood sugar, lack of energy and lack of concentration – which doesn’t exactly make for a fun party guest. Eat protein-rich snacks; try a protein shake, a hardboiled egg, or a handful of nuts before you head out to a holiday party. Taking the edge off your hunger with healthy snacks will help keep you full and help you avoid eating large portions later.
* Try the “move and mingle” approach. Use holiday parties as an opportunity to socialise with your friends. Keep walking around and don’t stop for too long – and certainly don’t stop next to the chips and dips, or buffet table. Walking does count as exercise, so the more you move, the better.
* Dance! Let loose and dance off any extra party calories. The added bonus is that the more time you spend dancing, the less time you will spend eating – and you get to hang out and have fun with your friends while you do it.
* Maintain your routine. Don’t skip your workouts just because you’re on holiday. The best thing you can do is try to keep your exercise routine intact. I know as well as anyone how easy it is to forget healthy eating habits during the holidays, but if you can at least keep your workouts going, it will help prevent holiday weight gain.
* Watch your drinks. Try to avoid drinking too many sugary drinks. It’s amazing how many calories can be hiding in a holiday punch, with or without alcohol. Staying hydrated with water will help.
* Maximise your time with a quick fix. If time is tight, try to do a quick 10-minute workout routine in the morning, then repeat it right before you go to bed. Simple, interval-style exercises will help burn some calories and keep you toned up over the holidays.
* Don’t shop online. Shopping online and sitting in front of your computer screen doesn’t burn the same amount of calories as regular shopping. Walking around the shops and carrying bags or boxes can double as a workout, so get shopping!
* Make every minute count. Look for opportunities to get a little bit more active every day during the holidays. Take the stairs, park in the furthest spot from the store, go for a walk.
* Get started today. Don’t wait until January 1 to start your exercise plan. The sooner you get started with your active, healthy routine, the sooner you’ll begin meeting your health goals. And what greater gift is there than that? – Info courtesy of Herbalife, The Mercury