Is there any way to avoid gaining weight this Holiday season? Yes – of course you can avoid gaining weight at this time of year, or any other. Is it easy to do? Hmmmm…maybe. This post presents tips to avoid holiday weight gain.
Ahhh…the end-of-year Holidays. They are in sight once again! And much as I love the whole Holiday season, there’s one thing about it I don’t love. I’m sure you can guess what it is, because more than likely, you don’t love it, either! Yep, the extra pounds and inches, they are coming for us!
Once upon a time, I brought an entire trunk filled with Christmas cookies home to my parents. I lovingly baked them all and sampled them liberally just to make sure they were as tasty as they looked.
Today, it seems like I gain two inches around my waist just by looking at a cookie recipe!
I’m already starting this Holiday season with a few extra pounds. I really, really don’t want to gain even an ounce more. My clothes are tight, and I feel so uncomfortable! I don’t want to make it worse than it already is.
So what’s a woman to do?
Because hiding out in my home like a hermit until the first of the year is simply not an option!
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Your Best Defence Against Holiday Weight Gain is A Good Offense
It’s true of almost anything but certainly true for weight gain:
It’s easier to prevent weight gain in the first place than gain it and try to lose it later.
Losing even a few extra pounds can be a true challenge for most of us, especially once we pass the fifty-year mark.
This is why it’s important to try to avoid getting a holiday weight package in the first place! There’s no benefit to approaching the New Year with a lot of extra weight that you have to lug around all year or struggle miserably to lose.
It’s a good idea to know and understand the measures that you can take to eliminate those extra pounds before they become a problem.
How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
1. Get Moving
Step up the exercise program – even just a little bit helps!
One of the best ways that you can maintain your current weight through the holidays is to exercise. But you don’t have to head to the nearest gym. There are plenty of work-out-at-home options nowadays.
You should strive to get at least four hours of exercise weekly.
This may sound like a lot, but it doesn’t mean four hours of pumping heavy weights or grunting and sweating on the treadmill (if that’s not your thing. If it is – you have my respect!)
Here are some easier ways to get your workout in:
- You can take a walk around the neighborhood and enjoy the Christmas decorations. Switch your route up, go a little farther each day, and try to include some gentle hills along the way. Do your part to help those in need by using an app to raise funds for nonprofits while you walk.
- Go swimming in an indoor heated pool (or outdoors if you are brave – ours is warm year-round!)
- Go up and down the stairs in your home as often as possible. Keep track of the number of flights you climb, and bump it up a bit each day.
- Learn some basic yoga moves and start or end your day with some deep stretching and relaxation.
- Clean your house. Yes, most cleaning activities are great exercise – think mopping, unloading the dishwasher, and carrying loads of clothes.
- Get out on the dance floor at every Holiday party. The wilder and more energetic, the better – but really, dancing is so good for your whole body. And it’s fun!
2. Make Healthy Food Choices
We all want to indulge in seasonal goodies – and we can.
The key is to make good choices the rest of the time.
Have a fruit and vegetable-packed smoothie for breakfast, a salad or soup for lunch, and lean meats, a small serving of grain, and lots of veggies for dinner.
Eat healthy foods on the days when you don’t have a fun party to go to, and you are free to indulge guilt-free at the parties and events you attend!
- Fresh fruit arrangements and vegetable trays are excellent choices and are available at most events. Fill up on these first, before indulging in the higher-calorie options. You will not only be able to eat plenty of foods that taste great, but you’ll also get your daily dose of essential nutrients and vitamins that benefit your body.
- Try to limit yourself to just one treat a day. Make it special. Make it something you really love. Take the time to thoroughly enjoy eating it.
- Share your cookies and treats with those at your office, church, or homeless shelter. If the sweets tempt you too much at home, share them with others.
- Eat a healthy meal before going to holiday parties, and stick to your regular meal routine. If you’re not hungry, you’ll indulge in fewer unhealthy foods that can add pounds.
- Alcohol is loaded with calories! Keep the eggnog and other sugar-laden beverages to a minimum. Drink a glass of sparkling water between each alcoholic drink to stay hydrated and cut back on consumption.
- Focus on enjoying the company rather than on the food. Engaging in conversation will allow you to forget (momentarily!) about the food buffet.
3. Use Positive Motivation to Achieve Your Goals
When your willpower is lagging, you may need some extra motivational tools to keep you on track. Recite the following affirmation to remind yourself that your ultimate goal is not deprivation, but better health and fitness.
An Affirmation To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain:
I keep myself physically fit during the holiday season.
Staying fit matters to me. I make time for fitness even when my life is very busy. The holidays can be a busy time, but I still have plenty of hours in the day.
I get things done because they are important to my life. The things I do each day have value and meaning to me. Staying fit is one of those things that I value highly.
To stay fit, I make time for exercise. I avoid changing my routine during the holidays. I can enjoy the holiday season and still keep my workout routine. I make sensible choices during the holidays. I stop and take time for myself when things start to get hectic.
Because I see the value of exercise, I make it a part of my schedule.
I continue to eat healthy foods throughout the Holidays. I enjoy the taste of fruits and vegetables and recognize all the benefits they give my body.
I also believe that it is good to indulge in treats, but I maintain control of my eating habits. I do not overindulge. I know when to stop. I do not feel guilty for enjoying these treats.
Remaining fit during the holidays is a challenge I embrace. I get a sense of accomplishment when I meet a roadblock head-on. I maximize my fitness level by listening to my body, exercising, and eating well, even during the holidays.
Today, I work to stay fit and healthy despite the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
- How can I make time for physical health during busy times?
- How can I plan meals ahead, so that I always have healthy options to choose from?
- What are some ways I can take my focus off of food and drink when I am at a special event?
- Healthy Living After Fifty: A Guide to a Healthier You
- A Guide to Healthy Eating for Women Over 50
- How A Healthy Mindset Leads to a Healthy Lifestyle
Final Thoughts on Simple (But Effective!) Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
The best defense is often a good offense – and so it is when you want to avoid holiday weight gain.
In other words, it’s better to prevent this weight gain than to try to reduce the pounds later.
Three ways to prevent Holiday weight gain are to maintain or increase physical activity, make healthy food choices most of the time, and use positive motivation techniques, such as the affirmation shared above.
Lori is a happily 50+ woman striving to live her best life through self-awareness and self-care. She writes from experience, inspired by her own journey toward confidence, self-love, and positivity.
Holding degrees in Psychology, Education, and Nonprofit Management, Lori’s varied career has covered education administration, counseling, teaching, conference planning, and full-time motherhood. What do these roles all have in common? Caring for other people.
Today, Lori cares for others by promoting the benefits of self-care for mature women. She stands firm in her belief that through self-care, all women over 50 can feel confident, capable, and happy.