We’ve highlighted six end-of-year challenges and provided
solutions to keep you on track this holiday season. Early planning and
preparation can help you continue to succeed into the New Year.
The holiday season is full of
parties and social commitments, specialty foods, alcohol, stress, cold weather,
lack of sleep, and a plethora of other distractions that can stand in the way
of well-planned exercise and diet programs.
1. Loss of motivation. Focus on the
results you have achieved thus far and set health and fitness goals for
Christmas and the New Year. Buy your New
Year Party dress now a size smaller, hang it out for you to see each day, and
see yourself in the dress on New Year’s Eve into the evening looking and
feeling your best.
2. Baby, its cold outside. Can’t
make it to the gym because of bad weather? This is where having something in
your home helps. Or, a program to follow
that is home gym friendly like The Belly Fit Club (www.thebellyfitclub.com).
3. Turn away from the buffet.
Seriously, don’t even look at it. Move as far away from the buffet as you can.
One study on buffet eating behaviors observed that diners with higher BMIs were
more likely to sit facing the buffet, use larger plates, and pile the food on
before seeing all the dish options. You might want to grab a napkin, too.
Diners with lower BMIs placed napkins in their laps, used smaller plates,
chewed their food more per bite, perused the offerings prior to serving, and
did not sit near or face the buffet.
4. Think before you drink. Holiday
beverages can contain an obscenely excessive amount of calories–with or without
the alcohol. A cup of eggnog can deliver 350 calories, a creamy White Russian
has 260 calories, while a medium pumpkin spice latte will set you back 380
spicy calories. Lower calorie choices include a flute of champagne at 90
calories or wine spritzers–a diluted sparkling water and fruit mixture, even a
“skinny” peppermint mocha comes in at 130 steaming calories. And as a reminder,
alcohol can also interfere with proper nutrition, recuperative sleep, hydration
levels, muscle recovery, stress hormone levels, and the immune system.
5. Snug in their beds. Sleep is
important for adults, eight good hours a night is typically recommended.
Getting enough sleep helps control weight, keeps the immune system functioning
optimally, reduces feelings of stress and stress-related illnesses, and helps
put you in a better mood.
6. Too stressed to exercise? Rethink this excuse. Exercise has been shown to be effective in
reducing stress levels with immediate and long term results. Exercise improves
mood and sleep, and also reduces depression and anxiety which can often be
triggered during the holidays.