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Holiday Weight Gain

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I’m a pragmatic realist. Unless you choose to live your life like a professional fitness competitor the last 6-8 weeks of the year chances are you’re going to gain a few pounds during the holidays. It’s OK; yes, you heard me correctly–life is short. It’s why we do what do in the gym. This is real life and a lifestyle that is sustainable.

Unless you want to hole up like a monk, not drink, pass on the roast goose, eat no Christmas cookies or holiday treats made by Aunt Bessie and skip most festivities you’re going to gain a few pounds. A more realistic and enjoyable goal is to minimize the weight gain.

Here’s how. . .

Maintain your exercise routine: it’s generally not the time of year to PR, enter a competition or win a super bowl. Just make it to the gym 3+ times a week. You’ve got extra stressors and extra activities; kick back a little and enjoy the process.
Indulge a little don’t binge: just because we’ve loosened the reigns a bit doesn’t mean every day is a free for all.  Be smart about it.
Drinking: if that’s your thing limit yourself to 2-3 times a week maximum. Lay off the other days of the week. Be sensible and limit yourself to 2-3 drinks per event/evening.
Desserts: aaah my weakness. There is no way I am not having my Christmas day dessert or peppermint crunch ice cream. Again follow the same strategy as above. Choose your favorites and limit yourself to 1-2 pieces of holiday treats over a week – 10 day period. Don’t eat cookies/candy everyday the last ten days of the year just because it’s there.
Clean it up: on non event days. You know you have three parties lined up on a weekend, eat clean, healthy and a little sparsely Monday – Thursday because you know you’re going to indulge a little during the weekend.
Extra exercise: I know I said to scale back and time is limited but little things will add up.  Park further away when you are shopping; taking a few extra steps will add up over the course of time.  When cooking, writing cards or wrapping presents take short breaks knocking out mini sets of squats, lunges, sit ups and push ups.  Might not be the hardcore routine you are used to but it all adds up.

That should cut that weight gain down from the average American’s 10# to a less painful 3-5#. No worries, New Year’s and resolutions are around the corner.  By then, the party’s over and that’s the time to kick it into high gear…