Preventing Those Holiday Pounds

It's here again. Just look at the seasonal shelves in your favorite store. Retailers refer to this time as the holiday season, but I like to call it the "Weight Gain" season and it runs straight through New Year's.

The next few weeks will bring plenty of opportunities for you to indulge, overeat, and expand your waistline. Of course the choice is yours.

Now is the time for you to plan for the weeks ahead. Once the whirlwind of holiday activities and obligations begins, you'll be too caught up to put a plan into action.

So in this moment of relative clarity, this calm before the storm, let's outline a plan that will save you from unwanted holiday pounds.

Put Your Feet to the Fire:
Exercise is the first thing to go when people get busy, and the holiday season is notorious for deserted gyms. This year do something drastic-obligate yourself to exercise. Promising to yourself isn't enough, you need to promise to others so that you won't drop the ball.

  • Commit to working with a fitness expert – the perfect solution for consistent, challenging and effective workouts. You'll get the attention and assistance that you need to power through the holidays in better shape than ever – talk about motivating!
  • Join a class – we've determined that you simply won't be as effective on your own during the busy holiday season, so joining a class would lend accountability. Stick with something challenging that gets your heart rate elevated and incorporates strength training.
  • Find a serious exercise buddy – some friends can be the biggest help while others end up pulling you down. When looking for an exercise buddy choose carefully and consider the following questions:
    - Do they share your fitness goals?
    - Are they typically encouraging?
    - Do they stick with things?
    - Are you at the same fitness level?
  • Get your spouse involved – what a great way to spend more time together during this busy season, and you'll be able to support each other in your shared quest for fitness. Decide on an exercise activity that you can both enjoy and set a schedule for your workout dates.

Cut the Treats:
I'm not going to imply that you shouldn't indulge in any seasonal treats, but think moderation. So often the holidays are used as an excuse to eat to the point of being uncomfortable – would you really miss that bloated feeling? Decide on a few fattening treats to cut out this year.

  • Do you really need to bring sweets for everyone in the office, especially since you know that you will end up with the leftovers? How about a fruit basket or flower arrangement?
  • At holiday parties load your plate first with greens, vegetables and lean meats before breads and heavier foods. Also drink water with your meal and keep alcoholic beverages to a minimum.
  • Watch what you drink, most beverages are filled to the brim with calories. Hot drinks from Starbucks, cocktails at parties and eggnog around a crackling fire-all very enjoyable and all filled with.
  • At no other time in the year are we faced with so many sweets. To avoid being a Scrooge, but without adding pounds to your frame, try the one treat rule. Each time you're in a social situation that involves sweets just eat one, and enjoy your treat slowly.

If you truly want to enjoy the coming festivities without dealing with added pounds it is all in your hands. The key is your mindset.

Most people approach the holidays with the mindset that says ‘I deserve to indulge and I shouldn't have to exercise since it's the holidays.' This is fine if you don't mind entering 2009 a few pounds heavier, a little less healthy, and with lower energy than ever before.

I believe that you deserve better. I believe that you should enter 2009 in better shape than you are today, healthier than you've been in a long time, and with more energy that you thought possible.

I'm always available to help – call or reply to this email to set up a fitness and consultation with me and I'll show you how you can see a lot of change over the next few weeks to come.

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