Waistlines, mirrors, jeans and scales.
At this time of the year, those may not be some of our favorite things. Parties, festive meals, late night drinking, office snacking, and lack of time to exercise is upon us. It’s time – right NOW – to be aware.Here are 3 tips to stay on track so that you won't need to make a daunting New Year's Resolution:
Find ways to increase your activity and movement, if not actually increase your exercise.Wear a pedometer. You may not have the ability to spend more time at the gym, so find every imaginable way to increase your activity, even if it seems silly -- it keeps your mindset focused in the right direction. One pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, so that means a 200-pound person walking three miles per day even at a moderate pace for one week can burn about 2,300 calories.
• Interesting gossip going on over at the buffet? Stay away from the dangerous nibbling that goes on unconsciously. Sure, go to the buffet line, but be sure when you leave it, leave with fresh veggies, lean meats and other lower calorie goodies.
Party and eat healthy and smart. That means eating more fruit, more protein and less refined carbs.
• While the stores are filled with delicious treats, avoid the temptation at home and leave those chocolate covered popcorn bags in the store.
• Be a dessert splitter. Those cupcakes are going to look great. Small, cute, and only 500 calories! Don’t deprive yourself. Allow yourself a small serving of your favorite treat and be as mindful as possible as you savor the look, taste and aroma of whatever it is that you “must have.”
THINK smart. Plan your eating before you go out and stick to your plan.People can have all sorts of unhelpful, irrational thoughts about food, diet, weight loss, especially around the holidays.
“Watching what I eat should be easy.” “It’s not okay to waste food.” “If I get hungry, the hunger will get worse and worse until I eat something.” “There is nothing I can do to make cravings go away.” “It’s okay to eat this food because I’m stressed, everyone else is eating it, it’s just a little piece and I’ll make up for it later.” “I’ve already blown it so it doesn’t matter what else I eat.”
It’s important to ask yourself what evidence you have that any of these thoughts are true. Most of the time, they are just thoughts. Before you go out with your food plan, have a strong response-counter-thought plan.
Getting through to New Year’s in great shape and health depends on these three pillars of healthy lifestyle — insuring enough activity, eating properly and thinking wisely.
Adapted from ACEfitness.org, November 2, 2011 Ask the Expert Blog, ‘What are the 3 Tips to Avoid the Dreaded Holiday Weight Gain?’