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Holiday Survival: Choose Your Battles

Now that you know not to panic, after all, even of you are an above average weight gainer, you still are only looking at a couple of pounds. With this peace of mind, you can try a few simple strategies to negate that one pound and maintain your sanity during the silly season.

Choose Your Battles

‘Tis he season to be merry, so don’t be a consistent spoil sport! After all, the is very little reason to be one. Choose your events where you will allow yourself to indulge and let it go. It won’t kill you. Especially if you keep your other meals of the day reasonable. But it will pay off to keep an eye on the calendar, making sure there are not too many events too close together. It may also mean making some priorities about which events are really important, and which ones do not matter so much. If you are going to make excuses and strain your will power, do so at the events that do not matter as much. For the really important events, enjoy them!

For the events that matter, and want to enjoy:

Plan ahead:
Make it a reward. Rack up a certain number of workouts and on plan eating days so that you feel “earned” the treat. Enjoy the party and dodge the guilt.

As for keeping the day’s calories under control, I have seen two strategies that might work based on your personality.

1. Don’t eat.
In other words, restrict calories throughout the hours leading up to and following the event. The danger is being so hungry that you really overdo it. Then you might feel guilty and then try to overcompensate by sending yourself on a five hour Belgian death march of a bike ride through rain, sleet and snow.
2. Eat ahead of time.
Fill up on low calorie, fiber rich vegetables beforehand. You can blunt your appetite, probably avoiding a lot of high calorie treats. This might not be much fun, since now your favorite treats don’t look as appealing. You might end up sad and bitter.

So choose which events matter and pick a strategy. Maybe blend the two. Whatever your plan, just having a plan puts you way ahead of most people. Even if your execution is less than perfect, you will still likely come out ahead. Just the fact that you addressed the issue and thought about it means you have a much better chance of success.

For myself, my battles are the actual holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. So I relax the rules and enjoy whatever looks good. Every other day is just that, just another day to eat plant based, starch based and healthy. I stick to my usual eating habits. Feast days are fine, but two to six weeks of intermittent feasting is not.

Good luck and Happy Holidays!


Relax! The Holidays are Here!

The holidays are here, and with it comes all kinds of anxiety about all kinds of things. But one of the big ones for many people is holiday weight gain and loss of fitness. Athletes are often terrified about losing their hard won fitness as the season winds down, and the days get shorter, close and wetter. Everyone worries about the dreaded weight gain, whether casual exerciser or top age grouper. There are roughly six weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year’s, which seems like a long time with which to do all kinds of damage. Fittingly, it seems every fitness or health oriented magazine or website has all kinds of complicated advice about how to avoid the pitfalls. I have got a simpler plan, don’t worry about it.

Research shows that the average holiday weight gain for adults is one pound.

That’s it. One pound.

The problem is that most people never lose that pound, so after ten years, you have ten extra pounds. Also, the more overweight you are, the more you tend to gain.

But, if you are reasonably active and motivated, you can deal with that pound. You can prevent it with a few counter measures strategically applied. Even if you gain some, you can implement some austerity and lose it after New Year’s. It really is not as bad as you think. All through human history there were periods of feasting, and gaining a few pounds was not a bad thing. Things have changed a bit now, so we must exercise more caution, but there is no reason to get paranoid. You can enjoy the holidays, indulge some, and still get right back on track for the coming season.

So, do not fret. It is not the end of the world, only the end of the year. Just flex that muscle between your ears a bit and you will be fine.