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Getting Through the Holidays Without Putting on a 'Winter Coat'

Don't sabotage your efforts with too many holiday treats!

Well it's that time again.  

The holiday music, shopping, seeing family and friends, and the food -- oooh the food; tons of holiday treats everywhere you turn.

The holidays are a beautiful time of year for getting together with family and friends, catching up, sharing memories, and making new ones.  But we all fall into this trap of the "holiday eating." Yikes!  

You work hard all spring and summer to stay fit and healthy but something about the fall and winter months seem to put on what a friend of mine likes to call "the winter coat." Not the one with buttons. I mean the extra weight you put on.  

Even I have to admit something about the chill in the air makes me want to BAKE! Like bears, are we packing it on to go into hibernation, hunkering down for the winter to come?  

I'm posting this blog this week to make you aware.. Thanksgiving is only a few days away.  You don't have to pack on the weight again this year.  Do yourself a favor and change that vicious cycle right now. Sit yourself down and work on a plan.  

It doesn't have to be a big complicated plan. It's the little changes you make in your daily life that makes the difference.  

I'm not saying don't enjoy the holidays by dieting, that would be unrealistic. There are a few things you can do to keep the weight off and even have a little fun while doing it.

  • Pencil in exercises on the actual day of the holiday. For instance, Thanksgiving is a day a lot of local 5k races are walked/run. Sign up for a race for the morning. It's early enough that you can get back in time to put your turkey in the oven. If you are not a runner, no big deal you can walk the course. In fact, bring the whole family. It's a great family outing!
  • Don't go to Thanksgiving Dinner starving.  Make sure you eat at least a light healthy breakfast, this way you are less inclined to gorge your belly with food.
  • Make a decision before you get where you going to what kind of dessert you will treat yourself with. Have a small piece of whatever you choose, then walk away. This way you are not feeling cheated and you didn't sabotage your entire effort of the day.

The rest of the holidays that are rolling up quick brings cocktail parties, dinner parties, lunches, and brunches. The same holds true for these.  Make sure you eat before you leave. I also like to have a big glass of water - this will help you stay hydrated, especially if your drinking and it fills your belly giving you a full feeling.

Decide what your indulgence for the evening will be. The appetizers? A drink or two? Maybe a dessert? Heck, pick two of the three, but remember to be conscious of what you are eating and drinking. It's a small task but will ultimately help you keep that weight off.

Most important, be sure to get your exercise in. I know it's tough around this time of year because there is so much to do. I have said this a hundred times before, you owe it to yourself to get in that work out and you will feel so much better when you do. Believe me, I have my days also when I am dragging myself out the door but once I am out there I'm glad I went. I have never come home regretting a workout. 100% of the time it makes me feel better and more energetic.

So what do you think?  Do you think you can manage to keep that extra weight off this season? I would love to hear your tips and tricks. There are a ton of them but my blog would be 100 pages long!  

Happy Holidays To All!

You are stronger than you think.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

john marra November 20, 2012 at 02:27 PM
This is really good Chris, its like a little reminder from an old freind. I totaly agree about not going to dinner starving, I think alot of people do that, me included, but not this time thanks to you. I like how you always talk about real things here, that we all deal with, keep up the good work. happy thanksgiving
Ann K November 21, 2012 at 05:28 PM
The holidays are filled with so many tempting moments to splurge and over indulge. Thanks for the tips for smart, healthy choices and still allowing moderate treats. A rigorous workout helps offset the treats I eat, now I need to make sure I cut back a bit on those treats & reap the rewards of the exercise!! Ann
Chris Doran November 21, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Thats right ann.. good thinking it's the little changes that make the different!

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