The Holidays Are Coming…What’s Your Game Plan

I know! It feels like we were just hanging at the beach in 95 degree weather (if you’re in a part of the world where you’re still going to the beach, keep it to yourself). Either way the 3 -headed holiday gauntlet that causes our blue jeans to run for cover is upon us. That’s right, I’m talking about Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

There’s been a lot of research that shows that typical Americans gain anywhere from 1-5 pounds during the holiday season.   This year however, we’re going to change that!  By having a plan and starting it NOW! 

I blame holiday weight gain on 3 things:

  1. Lack of Exercise – With traveling, parties, visiting family members, shopping and work it seems like there’s never enough time.  And of course to make time in our schedule for other things, our time in the gym or working out gets cut drastically. 
  2. Bad Dietary Habits – From candy to all the parties to the holiday stuffing and leftovers, there are a number of ways that bad dietary habits sneak up on us.
  3. Increased Levels of Stress – This is one that a lot of people don’t realize but yes, stress does make you gain weight.  A number of studies have shown that stress increases during the holiday (choose reasons 1-100).  And the bad news for women is that they’re much more likely to be hit by holiday induced stress than men. 

So what can we do about it?  It’s very simple… have a plan and stick to it!  I know what you’re thinking, “easier said than done!”  To that I say, “you’re right.”  This falls into a category of things that I refer to as, “simple…..but not easy.”    Like with any other plan, there has to be execution backed by self discipline (for a great read on building self discipline check out http://lifepassion.net/how-to-build-self-discipline/). 

Make time and schedule your workout.  If you’re going to be at home, carve time out of your day and put it into your schedule.  Have a backup time and date to work out if for some reason you miss a workout.  If you’re going to be away from home with no gym, start getting used to doing workouts with body weight, bands or free weights.  Just because you don’t have a gym, that’s no excuse!

Plan your crappy eating days and stick to the 80/20 rule, meaning that for every 10 meals, two of them can be whatever you want.  Leave the house prepared every day. If you can’t pack a lunch, look around and find places that have good food.  Plan on where you’ll go for lunch or dinner.  And as usual, make sure you have the right amount of fat, protein and the right type of carbohydrates throughout the day.

 As for stress….hmm that’s a tricky one.  I’m a trainer, not a psychologist.  No seriously, try to find some time during the day to give yourself a break.  Take a few minutes to stop and smell the roses.  Learn some quick mind clearing and meditation techniques.  Treat yourself to a spa day.  Put down the Blackberry and chill out with friends. 

Either way now is the time to start putting your plan together.  If you need help with your plan don’t hesitate to ask me a question via facebook, twitter or email.  Good luck!

About Kelvin Gary

Florida native and NYC based Personal Trainer Kelvin Gary looks to help motivate, inspire and inform those looking to better their lives through fitness and healthy living.

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