How to Stay Thin Through the Holidays

This article was originally written by Lynn VanDyke

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It’s snowing here in Pennsylvania. The snow has covered the ground and the roads are getting slick. The falling snow is a sobering reminder that it is about to get real cold in the northeast! Many people have decided to throw their diets out the window until the New Year. With Thanksgiving past and the more holidays soon to come, it almost seems pointless to try and stay fit.
But it is my job to tell you otherwise. Actually one of the best things you can do for yourself this holiday season is to pay attention to your diet and fitness program. I realize that you may have parties to attend and holiday cookies to bake, but that does not mean you are destined to gain the winter 5- the five pounds of fat most of us will gain this holiday season.
Here are a few helpful hints to keep you on track this winter. The overall secret is to simply keep your eating habits healthy most of the time. We will all have times that we indulge a bit more than we had planned. We will drink a bigger glass of eggnog or we will have an extra slice of fruit cake. All sorts of unplanned overindulgences can happen at holiday parties! It’s almost a given.
The trick is getting over the guilt and getting back to normal. If you ate a bit more, forget about it and resume your normal diet. Skipping the next meal will not help you. It will actually hurt you. Your body does not understand the idea of banking calories or skipping meals for the sake of losing weight. Your body only knows that it must be fed every few hours or else it is not receiving the proper nutrients and glucose necessary for normal functioning. Eating every few hours keeps your blood sugar levels in check. Skipping a meal because you over indulged earlier in the day is not a smart idea.
On the reverse, if you know you are going to your holiday party at work and plan to eat until the cows come home, do not skip meals before hand. This is also considered banking calories and works against your metabolism. Once we set ourself up for failure, we can only fail. As soon as you begin to think about skipping meals so you can eat more later you are thinking about calories and weight, not nutrition and health. You are also mentally preparing yourself to eat a lot and lose control.
It would be more beneficial for you to eat regular meals throughout the day. This will leave you feeling satisfied and you are actually less likely to over eat at the holiday work party. Plan to succeed and not to fail.
Another way to be conscious of your diet through the holidays is to control your alcohol consumption. Yes, we all love our Kahlua and Cream, but drinking just a few of them can ruin anyone’s diet. Be realistic and know that even your beverages contain calories.
Lastly, be your own person. While it is true that many people will indulge in holiday food and drinks, that does not mean you have to follow. Set yourself apart and get started or stick with a great and effective fitness and nutrition program. The yo-yo dieting method is well known and the excuse to overindulge during the holidays only fuels more unhealthy and unrealistic expectations. In the long run, it hurts you more than helps.
Stay the course, stay strong, join a community of like minded people, join your gym’s fitness challenge, work with a personal trainer, meet with a nutritionist or simply search the web for some great ways to stay thin though the holidays. You will be glad you made it through the holidays without feeling guilty and without gaining an extra 5 pounds of fat.
Copyright 2006 strength-training-woman