Fall and early winter are busy times of the year, packed with beloved traditions, such as social events, festivals, and holidays. Unfortunately, another tradition many of us would rather avoid is that of abandoning our fitness and nutrition goals for a few months. Year after year, we let our health go throughout the holiday season, and by New Year’s, weight loss is number one on the list. This doesn’t have to happen!
Whether it’s a football party, a family Thanksgiving dinner, or a festive holiday party, this plan will help you power through the event, feeling great, enjoying yourself, and keeping your healthy diet in check.
- Burn it to Earn it! Before you get ready, do a 20-minute interval training session to jump-start your fat-burning metabolism. Amazingly, just 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training can boost your body’s fat-burning for several hours after the workout. It will increase your energy, help curb your appetite, and you’ll remain focused on your accomplishments. You’ll also be less likely to overindulge and sabotage the hard work you just put in. Not only that, but you’ll look and feel great.
- Never go Hungry! Have a healthful, satisfying meal or snack before facing a smorgasbord of temptations.
- Wear something fitted. Showing off your body will help you remember what you’ve worked this far for, and will help you remember when you’re overeating. You don’t want to feel like unzipping your pants after your meal!
- Sample, but don’t over-indulge. Try to pick veggies and healthy options at the buffet. Go for flavorful or spicy foods that are satisfying…you’ll eat less of them than bland things. Stay away from sugar.
- Choose beverages wisely. Remember, alcohol slows down your metabolism, so having more than one alcoholic beverage will counteract that hard work you did. You’ll also spend several days working off the alcohol you consumed rather than burning fat. Artificial sweeteners can increase cravings, so it’s also best to also stay away from diet drinks.
- Get Moving. Focus on conversation, dancing, or other activities. You’re there to enjoy the gathering! Make an effort to really get to know people (but not the bartender!)
Remember, make sure your goals focus on your fitness and not your figure. There is nothing wrong with a little bit of indulgence this time of year, just make sure you earn your treat in the gym first!
Jill Stoppel has been involved in the fitness industry since 2009 and has been personal training full-time since 2002. She is the sole owner of Excel Wellness Studio, is certified through the American Council of Exercise and holds several certifications in group exercise, spinning and kickboxing. She also maintains memberships, affiliations and mentorships within the major health and fitness organizations in the nation to stay connected to other top professionals. She and her team offer fitness advice to Kansas Citians exclusively for Good Health KC magazine online