If there is any absolute truth about the human body, it is the fact that it changes. Practically every single day your body changes. I have gone from losing a lot of weight, to gaining back a lot of weight, to losing some of the weight, to gaining back some of the weight within the last few years. Safe to say, I am no stranger to a fluctuating waist line.
While the Winter season is nearly upon us so is the temptation to hibernate. Lately, I have become so used to sitting in a chair all day staring at a small screen, to lying on the couch all evening staring at a bigger screen. The only time I seem to get up is to eat. It’s cold outside! And I can’t help it if I love staying in my cocoon of furry blankets.
However, with the added hours spent indoors and self-limited mobility comes the extra pounds. It creeps up on you! First your belly billows outward and you reach for the baggy shirts. Then your thighs don’t seem to fit as easily into the jeans you wore last fall. It’s that torturous cycle that comes during this time of year-the holiday season full of heavy and hearty foods which feel good in the moment but then have you shopping for clothes a few sizes bigger than the previous year.
Now, I’m not saying you have to skip the Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas feast. That, in my opinion, is a terrible idea! You’re with your family. You should all celebrate the holidays with wonderful meals together. But, there are a few tips and practices to help you avoid the winter weight gain in between those fabulous meals.
Stick to a Routine
Even though you may be on break this season, that doesn’t mean your routine has to stop as well. Getting back into a workout routine can really help you stay active and in shape. To confess, I have gained a few pounds since Autumn came around. However, I have also tried to regain some sort of exercise schedule to counteract the weight gain. In the beginning, it’s a good plan to pick three days of your week when you plan to exercise. Narrow it down to the time and place as well. Be specific! Write it down! Stick to a schedule!
Running outdoors in the heat of Texas summer is a nightmare. But running outdoors in the crisp Autumn air can be quite pleasant. It’s also beautifully picturesque with the changing leaves. Ditch the gym every once in a while to take a run or hike outdoors. It’s a great workout and it also helps improve your mood. Plus you’ll get your daily dose of Vitamin D!
Stock Your Fridge
What you eat all depends on what you stock your fridge and cabinets with. Shop smart while at the supermarket. Try to choose healthy fruits and yogurt for snacks rather than chips and cookies. Also, avoid overly processed foods and go for fresher ingredients like veggies and whole grains. Opt for leaner meats including chicken breast and fish over dark meat and beef. I know it’s tempting to eat heavier foods during the colder months, but try to save those cravings for your big holiday meals and occasional dinners out. My biggest mistake when it comes to trying to be healthy is eating whatever I want and trying to make up for it later with exercise. Safe to say, that doesn’t work. If you really want to lose weight, it starts in the kitchen.
Set a Goal
There are always loads of 5K’s and 10K’s during the holiday season. A great way to keep yourself accountable and stick to an exercise routine is by signing up for a holiday run. This gives you something to aim for and will motivate you to get out of the house and into your sneakers. It’s also a great way to get your family involved and spend some time together during the holiday season.
Whether you want to feel more confident at a holiday office party, or lose some weight so that you can fully indulge in the Thanksgiving and Christmas feast becoming healthy really follows the same practicalities during every season. Eat healthy and exercise often. While motivation may be scarce during this time of year, just remember to set a schedule, a goal, and healthy eating habits. Hope everyone is as excited for the holiday season as I am!