Hello to all my readers
How are you going to approach this coming holiday season?
What comes to mind when you think about the holidays?
What about holiday and fitness?
‘Holiday and fitness? Some of you might think, ‘She must be joking, this isn’t an appropriate combination’. If you are caught in this type of thinking, believe me, you are not alone. I used to think the same. However, I grew up in a small town near the sea where holidays were generally associated with the beach (with the exception of the December holiday ). Therefore keeping fit was always part of the deal, unless you were willing to go to a beach where nobody knew you (not likely as my town was very small and everyone knew each other) or getting taunted by your peers which obviously was not something anyone would want to invite. Believe me, unless you wanted to move to another town for the holiday seasons, these were strong motivators for keeping fit.
Others might think, ‘Bring it on…the high-calorie food and drinks; I have earned it after a year of hard work!’ You are not alone; the majority of people probably think like this.
It’s really no wonder we gain weight during the holidays. Generally speaking, most people lose sight of their fitness and fat loss goals entirely this month, only to have a rude awakening in January when their clothes are too tight.
For the last 3 years, during December to February I am at my fittest which goes against the accepted statistic, as usual. This got me thinking about what I did differently in these months, so alongside my coach, I came up with 4 concepts which I would like to share with you. I want to make sure you don’t forget your goals exactly the same way that my coach keeps me accountable to my goals. This post is addressed to those, who like me, want to sidestep those holiday pounds.
These are my 4 steps to keep fit this holiday season:
Step #1: Get Focused on your Goals
‘Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.’ – Paulo Coelho
So many of our holiday traditions are focused on food. This holiday season try to draw your attention away from food and on to what’s really important, friends, family, giving and reflecting on your past years efforts. Stay focused on these rather than the plate full of hors d’oeuvres in front of you.
Be aware that the holidays can be a time of emotional eating. Sometimes stress, family conflict, or even depression can be triggered. If this happens to you, address the root of your problems with solutions other than food or drink. It’s important that you don’t lose sight of your fitness goals. Remind yourself of all the progress that you’ve made. Celebrate your successes but not with food. Keep your goals in the forefront of your mind.
Step #2: Use Effective Strategies
‘Success doesn’t necessarily come from breakthrough innovation but from flawless execution. A great strategy alone won’t win a game or a battle; the win comes from basic blocking and tackling.’ – Naveen Jain
It’s important to use a strategy when approaching the many celebrations held at this time of year. With night after night of parties and events, you’ll need to pace yourself in order to keep your diet on track.
The most obvious and effective strategy is to arrive at the party not hungry. Instead, eat a small low-calorie snack ahead of time to prevent overeating. When it’s time for extreme measures, wear tight-fitting clothes around your waist so there’s not much room for expansion.
Another idea is to chew gum before and after a meal, so you won’t be tempted to overindulge in appetizers and desserts. During the party, don’t stand next to the food table, instead keep a safe distance. And before you get a plate of food, choose your selections wisely. Use a small plate instead of a large dinner plate and don’t go back for seconds!
One of the most important strategies is figuring out how to exercise between parties. Finding room in your busy holiday schedule for exercise will help you fight off the extra weight trying to attach itself to your midsection and rear. You don’t have to spend an hour at the gym, there are very time effective exercise which you can do in less than 5 minutes such as HIIT and Tabata. It will require effort, planning and a strong mindset which I call mental metal as you will go against crowd thinking and behaviour but I can assure you the end results will be worth the sacrifice! If you want to know more, my dear Bro recently wrote an excellent article on ‘Highly effective workout in less than 5 minutes…‘ I encourage you to read this inspiring post on www.springboardyourself.com/2013/12/10/highly-effective-workouts-in-less-than-5-minutes.
Step #3: Preparation and Moderation are the keys!
‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.’ – Benjamin Franklin
‘The choicest pleasures of life lie within the ring of moderation.’ – Benjamin Disraeli
I am not suggesting that you completely deprive yourself, as this will likely lead to a splurge that ruins all your good intentions. Be smart about what you choose to eat. Prepare what you are going to eat and above all prepare yourself mentally to overcome the challenges, I speak by experience. Enjoy the goodness of the season, but in moderation. Reduce calories where you can by limiting your trimmings, cheeses, sauces, creams and nuts.
Some of your favourite indulgences may only come around at this time of year. Instead of stuffing yourself, survey what foods are available and make your choices. Have your favourites and leave the everyday dishes for another time. Only eat what you love, and don’t just eat something because it’s on the buffet.
Also, be sure to limit the amount of alcohol you drink. You may not know it but it’s highly calorific. Try alternating an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink, like unsweetened fruit juice diluted with water.
Step #4: Review to Success
‘Review your goals twice every day in order to be focused on achieving them.’ – Les Brown
It is important to review own results. This means we need to understand what we did right to keep doing it and what we did wrong to avoid it. We celebrate our successes and we learn lessons from our mistakes! This is the most effective way to achieve our goals and see tangible results. So, review your week without fail to avoid regret when the holidays are over. I personally have a journal for my fitness and dieting. It really helps me be objective, it’s all there in black and white and I cannot hide behind excuses, but above all it assists me to accelerate the achievement of my goals.
You might have noticed that all these tips involve working mainly on your mindset as this is the key to your success.
Follow these simple tips, and you will avoid weight gain this holiday season and start 2014 off on the right footing.
Exercise is a huge part of the equation when it comes to achieving fitness goals such as weight loss.
I am passionate about seeing my clients achieve results, without wasting time, energy and effort on mistakes. Contact me today to get started on my best available program.
Remember, you can create your life just the way you want it. Take action NOW!
‘Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. ACT! Action will delineate and define you.’ – Thomas Jefferson
‘Action speak louder than words…’ – Mark Twain
To your keeping fit during the holiday!
Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success‘