Monday, December 19, 2011

5 strategies for staying on track during the holidays

Enjoy a sweet treat or two.
It doesn't mean you've blown it!
It's a wonderful time of year! It's also a time that many of my clients dread because it seems like it's so easy to sabotage healthy habits. All the parties and extra sweets coupled with inclement St. Louis weather leads to an average 2-4 pound weight gain just over the span of the holidays. Yikes! But don't give up just yet--we've got two weeks left.

Build your "offense" by remembering these five strategies:

1. Make smart choices. When you attend holiday get-togethers or dine out, keep your head in the game. Even though it might taste really good, it's just food. Order smart and you'll cut hundreds of calories. Or "eat like the French:" have a small amount of a richer dish and enjoy it slowly. After the party's over, you'll be glad you did.

2. Remember portion control. One or two cookies is okay. Half a batch is overdoing it just a bit! Remind yourself to pay attention to portions when you build your plate. Don't hang out by the hors d' oeuvres table or go back for seconds. And watch the egg nog too.

3. Keep up your exercise routine. No matter what! And yes, you can count holiday shopping marathons too. Exercise helps you to continue burning those extra calories and is one of the best "offense" strategies for keeping extra pounds at bay.

4. Don't let yourself go...into your fat pants, that is! (Or your "Thanksgiving pants" as Joey on Friends would have said). If you've got room to grow, you probably will. Stay in your skinny jeans and you'll stay more aware and more motivated. Plus they look much cuter with the season's hottest boots anyway :)

5. You've never completely blown it. As in: just because you had a scoop of ice cream doesn't mean you should go ahead and eat the entire container! Sure, we may take in some extra calories during the holiday season, but it's also the only time of year we get to enjoy seasonal treats and festivities. Don't deprive yourself from having fun. Indulge a little more than usual without going completely overboard. And if you do slip up, like most of us do as some point, it's not all over. Just get right back on the wagon.