Ten Holiday Survival Tips You Can Implement Now

The Best Advice I Have For Surviving The Impending Food Tsunami.

Welcome to the hardest time of year when it comes to keeping our weight under control and exercise program on track.  How is that the holidays have turned into a series of events where we’re expected to gorge ourselves on food and not worry about the ramifications under next year?
And not just any food.  Foods that we wouldn’t be caught dead eating the rest of the year.   Between the abundance of high-calorie dishes that make an appearance at this time of year, and the additional stress of planning the perfect holiday, gaining a few pounds isn’t at all uncommon.

I wrote last year at this time about a friend of mind that refers to what goes on at her workplace at this time of year as a food tsunami.  The workplace food tsunami, along with holiday parties, cookie exchanges, and traditional once-a-year recipes that we bake or prepare spell disaster with a capital “D”!

You need a game plan if you’re going to get through this season without weight gain and muscle loss.  The ten tips below are reminders of some very basic strategies that you can put in place so that you can enjoy the holidays without a traditional 3 to 5 pound weight gain.

Ten Tips To Help You Survive The Holidays

1.  Weekly Weigh-Ins – Get weighed today.  Write your weight down, put it where it’s visible, and weigh in at the same time every week.  You’ll know if the pounds begin to creep up in time to do something about it and won’t be surprised and ultimately depressed the first time you get on the scale in 2013.

2.  Wear a pedometer – There is nothing like a pedometer that reads ‘Zero” to get you moving more.  Set a stretch goal.  Not one that is unrealistic, but one that will encourage you to move twice as much as you are now. The10,000 steps a day is one of the more popular walking programs and I encourage you to try it.

3.  Make Meals At Home – On evenings when you don’t have a special party, shopping trip or other commitment outside the home, make it a point to cook low-calorie, nutritious meals in you own kitchen.  Double the recipe and use the leftovers for lunch the next day or save the food and use it for a meal later in the week when you’re in a rush and don’t have time to cook.

4.  10 Minute Workouts – You may not have time to go to the gym as much or get to Zumba class three times a week, but you do have time for a 10 minute workout.  These are plentiful and available to on YouTube for free.  Need some ideas for a variety of quick, effective workouts?  Check out the article I wrote:  Seven 10-Minute No Excuses Workouts Reviewed Just For You.

5.   Skip The Sugary Liquids – There’s no room in your diet for high-calorie, zero nutrient drinks like McDonald’s Sweet Tea (230 calories), Polar Pop (400 calories), and seasonal Frappuccino’s from Starbucks (230 calories).  Opt for a skinny latte, or fill a water bottle with homemade cucumber water if you need a pick me up when you’re out shopping.

6.  Avoid The Food Court – Another way to get more calories that you’ve bargained for is with a visit to the shopping mall’s food court.  The popular orange chicken from Panda Express has 420 calories in a 5.7 oz serving.  The seemingly harmless pretzel nuggets from Aunt Anne’s has 390 calories.  You can do better.  Pack your own lunch or download the My Fitness Pal app to your iPhone or Smartphone and check out the fat and calorie content of some of the most popular shop-while-you drop indulgences so you’ll know what you’re getting before you place your order.

7.  The Best Defense – Taking a healthy lunch to work is the best way to avoid an afternoon of endless grazing on the goodies that your co-workers bring in to share.  Pack a salad, healthy veggie wrap or sandwich with a piece of fruit, a serving of almonds and an iced coffee.  Having your own stockpile of filling, nutritious foods is your best defense against the food tsunami that’s looming.  For brown-bag lunch ideas check out: You Deserve More Than A Spongy Lean Cuisine For Lunch.

8. Stay Positive – It’s easy to get grumpy at this time of year.  We are spending money we don’t have, battling traffic jams and crowded malls to find the perfect gifts, and foregoing sleep so that we can decorate, bake and wrap.  Before you go to bed, take five minutes to write down the most positive thing that happened to you that day.  Focusing on what has gone right, rather than all of the stressful, negative events of the day will help you keep your sanity and more committed to you goals.

9. Keep It Real– Many of us we have an image of ourselves pulling off the perfect holiday that includes finding the gift that everyone on the list will love, a meal that is envied by our guests, and a house that is fit for the cover of House Beautiful.  That’s unrealistic and trying to achieve it will only will send your stress meter over the mark.  Unless you have a staff that you can delegate the cooking, decorating and shopping to, the perfect holiday isn’t possible.  Holiday perfection stress can lead to overeating and over drinking. I encourage you to keep it real and accept something less than perfect from yourself this year.

10.  Your Turn – The best tips always come from my readers.  What strategies do you have for not gaining weight over the holidays?  Leave it in the comment box below and I will add it to the article in this spot as tip#10 with your name.

Do you have an action plan in place that will get you through the holidays without gaining a pound?  Be Social!  Share!