This can be a really tough time a year for our clients, and often even tougher for people who haven’t incorporated a regular exercise and nutrition program into life.
If you’re reading this I know you have an interest in taking care of yourself, losing weight, and looking and feeling great.
Our bodies are mostly perfect.
What I mean by that is as long as we do some of the right things they kind of chug along and treat us pretty well without major positive or negative change.
When we work hard to do as much of the right things as possible we’re rewarded with rapid positive change.
And when we have poor or bad habits long term…
Well you get my drift.
But my team and I, we believe that being “healthy” is about more than just exercising and eating right (though those are very very important.)
It’s also important to maintain your emotional and spiritual health.
Now there’s many ways to do that, but since the holidays are here let’s focus on that.
Christmas is a special time, it’s a time for family, friends and loved ones, but it’s also filled with late nights, social gatherings, and delicious (but not so body friendly) food and beverages.
It’s common during the holiday season for people to gain as much as 8lbs, even worse is this 8lbs often sticks with them long term.
That’s the bad news.
But here’s the good news, it’s easy to avoid.
1) Just stay active.
Your workout schedule may not be consistent through the holidays, and your workouts may not be as great, but it doesn’t matter, just keep fitting them in the best you can.
If you normally exercise 3 to 6 days a week, don’t worry if some weeks this is less.
Our bodies function on long term consistency, a couple missed workouts a week or two here and there have little impact on the long term outcome.
When you’re just starting it may feel like it, but remember living and looking the way you want is a marathon not a sprint!
By working out even sporadically throughout the holidays you will reduce the likelihood of holiday weight gain by more than 70%. (And what you do gain will be easier to use.)
2) Keep eating at least 5-6 different times per day.
It’s common for people to indulge on a little too much food throughout the holidays. (I know I will.)
And it seems logical that when you do overeat to then wait a longer period before eating again, metabolically this is about the worst thing you can do for yourself.
Every time we consume something with calories our digestive system must go to work, spending energy to break it down.
This leads nutrients to our blood stream and delivery to our cells, and along with it an elevated metabolic rate.
By continuing to eat frequently you ensure you can maintain the highest metabolic rate through the holidays, further enhancing the ease of which you’ll rid yourself of any holiday weight gain in the New Year.
Hydration is always the key to physical feeling, and even weight loss.
Without adequate hydration our metabolism just can’t function optimally no matter how well we may eat or exercise.
But if you consume any alcohol when you socialize this holiday season water is even more critical.
You see alcohol severely suppresses both metabolic and immune function. It does so fairly rapidly with as little as only a couple ounces (look how powerful it’s effects are on the Cerebellum and affecting our balance, cognition, and reasoning in the short term.)
Our liver can only process alcohol at a slow rate, and alcohol additionally increases the rate at which we become dehydrated.
If you’ve ever felt the headache the day after this is most commonly associated with dehydration.
Even though you may no longer feel the effects of the alcohol your metabolism is still suppressed.
By working hard to consume even more water than usual you can slightly increase your rate of detoxification allowing the metabolic and immune suppressing effects of alcohol consumption to be mitigated a little faster.
These three things, even for someone just starting to exercise just a as the holiday season begins will drastically reduce your likelihood of holiday weight gain.
For the regular exerciser, well it’s just a little reassurance that it’s ok to let your habits slip, as that’s why we work so hard all the time, to have the ability to deviate and make the most of these important social times.
Now that you understand how to manage your physiology with these three simple steps I urge you to make the most of the season.
Put family and friends first, enjoy all the time you can with them, as these relationships will contribute greatly to your health!
Always here to help!