There are many perks of the holiday season to look forward to—family you get to see just once a year, your Aunt Mae’s delicious apple pie and a feast of delectable food, drinks and company—but with the good come the bad (added pounds, excessive calories and guilt!) Put it to a halt and prevent the 4 lbs. (that the average American gains during the holiday season) by giving yourself the greatest gift of all—a fit body, a healthy attitude and a happy mindset!
Think it’s impossible to achieve, and that you’ll have no choice but to indulge in fudge, casseroles and a second (or third) helping of your brother’s amazing fried turkey? Think again, because this guide we’ve put together (which is all for you!) will help you conquer and put your food cravings to rest so that you can be ‘merry and bright’ without abandoning any of your good common sense and will power along the way.
Take a Holiday Themed Cardio Class
The holidays are among you, so why not get into the spirit while burning off last night’s dinner? High impact cardio classes do two things well—they allow you to burn up to 1,000 calories in an hour (and in a fun, social setting!) and after the class is over, the last thing you want to do is eat a heavy, carb-rich meal. After all, why would you want to un-do the calories you just burned off?
Get into the spirit by taking a spin, Zumba or dance class this time of year (which often incorporates the cheerful songs of the Christmas season) and you’ll quickly be on your way to losing that “bowl full of jelly” by New Years!
Stay Focused on a Healthy Mindset
Think healthy, be healthy! Many people have the tendency during the holidays to indulge in every delicious, sweet treat they see. You might even be used to thinking, “What the heck. I know I’m going to gain weight during the holidays, so I might as well go for it!” The fact is, your thoughts are the most powerful tool you have, so set your mind up for success—and your actions will follow! Cultivate a moderation mindset by giving yourself one treat a week for a diet of portion control well done, and you’ll be sure to stay on track!
Graze the Vegetable Platter, not the Fried Appetizers at Holiday Parties
Staying fit is 80 percent what you put in, and 20 percent exercise. So, skip the appetizer table, and go straight for the vegetable platters (and keep your toned legs in the process!) Everyone has a tendency to gain weight during this time of year, but you can beat the battle of the holiday bulge by eating clean first thing in the morning, and staying that way (even at your company’s holiday party that brings in amazing catering.)
Make sure to eat something healthy before you go—such as low-fat yogurt, a few slices of apples with peanut butter or a handful of unsalted almonds—and when you arrive at the party, grab a small plate and fill it up with veggies and lean protein just once. Then, spend the rest of the time socializing with friends, co-workers and colleagues!
When you commit to giving yourself the gift of good health and fitness, nothing can slow you down—not even decadent holiday food! Enjoy taking a holiday themed cardio class to spruce up your workouts, fill up on healthy (not fried!) appetizers, and most of all, focus on positive thoughts about what you can and will accomplish. When you focus on fitness, it’s the gift that keeps on giving, all year long!