At this point in the holiday season, you’ve probably already done some indulging – and there’s lots more to come.
Although studies show that the average holiday weight gain is only a couple of pounds, they also show that most people never end up losing them – instead they accumulate year-after-year.
Here are a few ways to get through the festive season without packing on extra pounds.
1. Do not make fitness-related New Years resolutions. That’s right – don’t resolve to get in shape on January 1st. All too often, people will give themselves a pass to overindulge in December because they plan on resolving to get fit as of January. Don't do that. Instead, commit to health and fitness now. Every day is the beginning of a New Year, after all. And yes, you can still enjoy the holidays if you do this - see #3.
2. Make yourself accountable. We are much more likely to stick to something if we have a way to hold ourselves accountable. Tell your partner, friends and family that you’re working to stay healthy this holiday season and ask them to support you. Book some extra sessions with your Nielsen Fitness trainer for the holiday period, and maybe even schedule a re-assessment for early in the new year. Or commit yourself to a winter run/walk or race so you have something to train for and keep you on track. Bottom line: having support and a goal to work towards, really helps - especially when out of your regular routine, and in the face of temptation.
3. Find a balance. You’ve heard it before, and it’s true: life is all about balance. If you know your office Christmas party is on Saturday, get in an extra-long workout the morning of. When you eat healthy foods and exercise most of the time, the occasional treat is not going to derail your progress. Savour it, and don’t beat yourself up! What you do want to avoid is eating and drinking unhealthy things without enjoying them, or just because they’re there, which is what most of us do at holiday get-togethers.
Poul Nielsen is the owner and operator of Nielsen Fitness, Toronto's leading team of in-home personal trainers. He has 16 years' experience in the fitness industry and has taught courses in Fitness and Lifestyle Management at George Brown College.
In addition to exercise (obviously), he loves spending time with his family, playing the guitar, strong coffee - and dark chocolate!