In this second of 5 posts supporting the ican! To Me: From Me: holiday pledge campaign to either NOT gain any weight this holiday season or proactively commit to making whatever healthful actions needed to help accomplish your New Years Resolutions.
Q1. Why do people eat more during the holiday season?
We want to and are expected to. Celebrating is often associated with indulging, like cake for a birthday. At times when we have less obligations, e.g. No school or work, we’ll let go of our inhibitions and indulge even more. We’ve also been trained to think that indulging is a required part of the holidays, e.g., “you’ve always had 3 helpings before” and, it takes will power to pass up special treats or black friday deals.
Q2. How do you maintain weight over the holidays? What would you recommended others do??
Most importantly (as i outlined in my first post) Take the To: Me, From: Me ican! pledge to take care yourself like over the holidays. You choose a goal that works for you but I encourage you to aim big, like not gaining any weight between Thanksgiving and New Years, or only gaining a few pounds. See post #1 of this series and ‘Wellness compass healthy habits‘ for details.
Second, commit to a few strategies that support your To: Me, From: Me pledge. I really love Nichole McDerrmott’s 2015 Greatist article where she outlines “31 science-backed ways to avoid holiday weight gain” (https://greatist.com/health/ways-to-avoid-holiday-weight-gain) and refer you to this article for 31 options that are likely to work!
Here’s my top 3 strategies for weight maintenance from her list, the one’s I focus on and think make the most difference for my weight/eating/fitness related goals.
- Just say “No” to holiday overeating (and drinking). Be polite and stick to your pre-determined limits. What are my limits? I’ll either only have one reasonable serving of treat beverage OR food per meal, or just a few bite (or sips), AND i will reduce other carbohydrates at the same meal. This means i almost always have a little treat, and never have too much. Never!
- Cave in to cravings. YES!! Do not forgot your favs – if you do you’ll drive yourself crazy. The secret is to PLAN them in “reasonable amounts” instead of other calories. For example, as illustrated in the picture if i have the peppermint mocha, i’ll only have a small, i don’t get a pastry; i get the spinach, ham, egg and cheese sandwich and eat it without the top bun; and, i only get water until lunch.
- Move it and lose it! Make the time to do at least 3 serious workout a week. I aim do something physically challenging for a total of 60 minutes, 6 days/week. I aim to meet the ACSM exercise guidelines and get in at least 2 bouts of resistance training, & 4 of serious cardio. If i’m planning a holiday trip i choose lodgings either with a fitness center or nearby, or where ican! move outdoors.
What strategies will you use to accomplish your goals?