We all know the upcoming holiday season (Thanksgiving to New Year’s) can be a time to fall into “relax mode” with respect to our exercise and diet. Start getting into your pre-holiday routine now by watching your caloric intake and add in more movement during the day. Don’t let the excuse of busy schedules, attending parties and traveling be the culprit this time around.
Your first step is to become mindful in respect to individual triggers during holiday events or family gatherings. A previous blog post looked at research that showed the average person will consume an extra 619 calories a day during the Holiday season which figures out to about a five-pound weight gain over the holiday season! If you get off on the wrong foot with Thanksgiving there is always the next day to get back on track and re-focus. The average person has the potential to consume 4500 calories or more coupled with 200 grams of fat (that equates to 1800 calories alone from fat) over the course of a typical Thanksgiving day!
Reports have shown that it doesn’t get easier a month later when the “average person eats more than 7,000 calories on Christmas day. Research carried out by Associated British Foods came to that conclusion. That’s more than three times the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommended daily caloric intake.”
Try the following tips if you feel like your off course a bit and have been eating too much and not moving enough; get a jump on it now by starting to:
- Increase the volume or intensity of your daily exercise (both strength and cardio).
- Where a pedometer and work on increasing your daily steps over the course of the next 30 days. Add an additional 500-1000 steps to your weekly step count.
- Watch the extra (empty) calories from soda, juices, alcohol etc. – try to add a glass of water in between drinks – if possible, avoid alcohol. The average person consumes close to an additional 450 calories a day through drinking soda, alcohol etc.
- Avoid any late night eating.
- Start each morning off with 16 ounces of water (add some lemon).
- Try daily meditation (10-minutes/day with the Headspace app).
During this holiday season, think of exercise as a way to prevent weight gain. If you’re looking to lose weight, the key is to increase your activity level above and beyond what you’re currently doing. In addition, be more mindful of your intake, especially as the day goes on.