Time to accept it… they’re baaack! The holidays are here. Let’s plan for a fun time without losing our fitness. Positive, successful people face facts and make a realistic plan to deal with the present.
Everyone knows that an occasional indulgence is ok and even necessary, but an overindulgence = diet disaster!
So how do we become one of the holiday success stories? By making a plan. Look at your schedule week by week and decide when you will realistically abstain and indulge in treats. Is it a work party, your Aunt Janet’s famous pumpkin pie, that delicious eggnog your neighbor makes, or some other special treat you just can’t resist?
Just remember that each of these treats comes with a costly caloric price tag. This is where your plan comes in to play.
Cut your weekly calories to make up for the extra calories. Food log, food log, food log. Oh by the way, have I mentioned using a food log?
This is your best, most effective tool in your weight loss arsenal. Knowing how many calories you regularly consume will allow you to plan your treats accordingly.
Let’s say you have been losing 1 lb/week by consuming an average of 11900 calories/week (that’s 1700 calories/day). Next week you want to eat a slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream (approx. 350 calories) and a glass of egg nog (approx. 350 calories), but would like to continue on your 1 lb/week weight loss. This means that you will need to cut 700 calories out of your diet somewhere else. You could do it by cutting 100 calories/day for a week, 150 calories/day for 5 of 7 days or any other similar combination. You could also it with a combination of diet and exercise.
Using the example above, you’ve got your eating plan in place; however, you realize that you forgot to include the “Bring a donut to work day” on Thursday and just can’t part with any more calories next week (Glazed donut, approx.. 250 calories). It’s time to make your fitness plan.
It takes about 3.5 miles for a 150 lb woman walking at a moderate to fast pace to burn 250 calories. Considering that the woman in this example already exercises 4x/week for an hour at a time, finding time for that extra 3.5 mile walk is going to take some planning. The walk can be done all at once or broken into 2 or 3 sessions. You could wake up a little earlier for 3 days, take one or more family walks around the neighborhood after dinner, enlist the help of a walking buddy, or add an extra session each week with me J.
Be prepared for the occasional “mistake” and know that it will happen. If you cut an extra 200 calories/week and/or add an extra hour of cardio/week each and every week than those occasional “mistakes” will not derail your diet. However, no one is perfect, so don’t let an occasional indulgence become a complete overindulgence. Remember what has caused you problems in the past and plan ahead for the future.
And the most important tip, of course, is to remember that the holidays are a time of celebration and thankfulness for what you have. For me it’s great family, friends and health.