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Healthy Holiday Strategies to Maintain Your Weight from Halloween to New Year's Eve

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holiday season earlier and earlier each year. Some businesses put out Christmas decorations before Halloween, and Halloween has become a major player with parties and events for all ages. The Big 4 of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukkah, and New Year’s become the scapegoats for falling off the health and fitness wagon.

Staying consistent to your workouts and healthy eating are all part of your mindset. Let’s look at the word itself, holiday, it’s not holi-week or holi-month. Take the day and enjoy yourself without restraint, who wants to be “on a diet” while the family is shoveling food down their pieholes? Plus, this never works anyway to be “on a diet” period. Once the day is over, so is the celebrating, get back to your regularly scheduled programming.

What about the parties for work, school, extended family, and friends? Those parties are not all-day events like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Do your normal workout and eat healthy for each meal before the party. This simple strategy mitigates the damage to a couple hours, which is manageable long-term. Don’t go to the party starving, which sets you up for eating everything and anything you get your hands on when you walk in the door. Have a healthy snack an hour or so before the event so you eat less.

Three simple party strategies for eating less:

·       Stand away from the food table

·       Drink water instead of soft drinks

·       Mix in items from the fruit and veggie trays

Three simple party strategies for drinking less:

·       Drink water between alcoholic beverages

·       Drink liquor on the rocks or with club soda and tonic water (flavored seltzer waters are perfect)

·       Stand away from the bar

“I don’t have time to exercise,” is an excuse used all year. The truth is you do, and just like all year, you must schedule it into your calendar. Really exam your activities, are they must dos, or can you delegate or say no. People want to please people, it’s also fine to say no. Saying no is better than dropping the ball because you’re overloaded. By saying no, you say yes to your mental health and create time for exercising. A solid maintenance workout doesn’t require hours each day in the gym. You can do a 20-minute HIIT workout in the living room. Home workouts are great time savers and perfect forburning 200-300 calories with no equipment.

Three simple workout strategies for the holidays:

·       Interval cardio session (fast-slow) for 20-25minutes

·       Tabata workouts at the gym or home

·       YouTube body weight home workout

Purchase a 25-pound kettlebell and 3-in-1 resistance bands from Escalade Sports by scrolling down to Quick Links. These are great tools to have at home you can store in a closet and use for home workouts. With these two items, you can do every gym exercise with enough resistance to get you that needed maintenance workout before a party. Add push-ups, running in place, and jumping jacks, and you have an effective high-intensity strength training workout. Something is better than nothing!

Of course, keep your regular gym sessions much as possible. I don’t advocate abandoning the health club for three months. Use these tips when you know time is tight and/or you’re traveling and can’t get to the gym. Finally, forgiveness is critical, don’t beat yourself up because you had a slice of cake and a martini on Wednesday night. Tomorrow is a new day, and you are back to normal. Enjoy the event and move on when it’s over.

Make this year different with my tips. For more, sign up formy newsletter at Happy Holidays!

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