Survive The Holidays And Relax!
(This article appeared in the December 2011 issue of L Magazine…written by me of course!)
Tis the season for joy, food, bad weather and flabbiness.
You know what else? It’s the season for every fitness guru and their mama to give you lists for losing weight because the average person gains some obscene amount over the course of 4 weeks.
You know the drill because you see it every year.
This year is going to be different. This year I’m telling you NOT to worry about it.
Seriously. Don’t sweat the guilt of eating, drinking and being merry this gluttonous season.
Why? Because it’s only a few weeks and those numbers the “experts” tell you the average person gains aren’t totally true. It’s like that old game you played as a kid where you tell your neighbor a secret, then they tell their neighbor the same secret and after 10 kids you compare what you said versus what was passed along.
My point is that it gets skewed and exaggerated the longer it’s mentioned.
Does the average person gain weight between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day?
However, I don’t think it’s a big enough deal for you to go through the next few weeks carrying heaps of guilt on your heavy shoulders.
If someone brings cookies to work, I’m saying it’s okay to eat one.
When you’re gathering with family celebrating, whether it’s Christmas, Kwanza, Chanukah or gathering around the Festivus Pole, relax and have dessert.
Why am I committing fitness treason?
Because this is supposed to be a joyful time and you can’t be joyful if you’re worried about snacking on a few cookies or drinking Egg Nog spiked with tasty brandy.
Relax. Enjoy it, but with a couple caveats.
You didn’t think I was going to totally let you off the hook did you?
I have to protect myself from the angry mobs that would have surely gathered at my door come January 1 while making wild accusations and pointing to their scale.
Whenever you decide to eat a treat, or prepare for a gluttonous meal, drink a big glass of water BEFORE you take a bite.
This simple step will help fill your stomach a bit so you can’t shovel in all the holiday goodness.
You also have no excuse for skipping workouts. I’m not a big believer in the punishment mentality of working hard to make up for a bad night/weekend, but over the next few weeks if you are going to take my advice and enjoy the season, you cannot skip workouts.
The last super simple tip is that I want you to stop eating/drinking once dinner is finished.
There’s nothing magical about eating past 7pm. This isn’t Cinderella and you’re not going to turn into a pumpkin if you eat past a certain hour, however it can keep you from going completely overboard with total calories.
Have you ever had one of those moments where you know you’ve gone a bit too far, but those thoughts don’t come until it’s too late?
That’s what this tip solves. It prevents the tipping point. It prevents you from saying “Oh man, I ate too much” and keeps you in the happy, happy, joy, joy place.
This is supposed to be a wonderful time of year and I don’t think you can be joyful if you’re constantly worried about your waistline. The only options you have is to take my advice and eat intelligently, or be a complete buzz kill and turn away all the tasty treats.