This past week at Koko FitClub we started our Little Black Dress Challenge. The intention was to help our members stay on track and not gain weight over the holiday season and hopefully lose a few pounds, so that their Little Black Dress looks just as amazing as it did in July because let’s face it, December is hard. With a full calendar of social events with full menus of the best treats and eats of the year, we can easily get in a sugar habit (or at least I can).
Here are a few year-round tips that we can apply to the holidays when the stakes are a little higher with the average person gaining a few pounds that can take some people up to five months to lose. A new study by Cornell University shows that the holiday season actually spans from Halloween through New Years and might take until Easter to shed the extra pounds, which makes a lot of sense.
- Keep moving. Perhaps there is no more important time of year to really pay attention and use that FitBit or other tracking device. Logging those steps will really help you maintain and not gain. Take walks after large meals with the entire family to help digestion and get some fresh air, a much better alternative to watching more TV or the dreaded post meal NAP. Don’t do it. Get up and move it.
- Create a plan and stick to it. We always talk about planning to be hungry, and the holidays are no different. Think ahead and decide what you will eat for each meal. It doesn’t mean that you can’t indulge, but it will help you avoid totally going off the rails. Dare I suggest too that you keep a food journal during the holiday? Yes, I just did. Again, not that you have to diet, but journaling will help you to just track the calories and sugar so that while you can have a treat or special meal a couple times a week, you can keep the other meals in check.
- This leads me to my next really important point that I often make. You can have a cheat meal, but a cheat weekend or cheat month will really set you back, and create that hamster wheel syndrome where we are just working out to recover from our latest holiday o’ food. That means that you have to be picky about when and where you will indulge. If you have three parties in one weekend, choose the one that has your most favorite things to treat yourself, but then for the other two, try to stick to healthier options, eat a healthy meal before you go to the party, or better yet, bring a dish that fits within the parameters of your typical meal plans. But, if you are hosting, the leftovers must go! They cannot linger in the house because let’s face it, we will linger in the fridge. Pack them up and give them away. Bring them to the office or just ditch the junk. Let’s be honest, a season of indulgence is hard to recover from, but it is also difficult to even stop the cycle when our bodies get so used to the trend of extra food and sugar.
- Schedule your workouts just like you might do during the year, but in December it becomes even more critical. Don’t just schedule them anytime, make it an early workout. We know that throughout the day there are so many people and events that tempt us to skip the gym. When you get in an early morning workout habit, there are just less distractions between your bed and the gym at 5 am. No co-workers luring you to a 2-hour lunch, no looming work deadlines that need to be addressed before you can leave… I know the games our minds play on us because it happens to me too.
- Lastly, get rid of this all or nothing mindset – “Well, I didn’t make it to the gym yet this week, so what’s the point, I might as well wait until January!” Nope. Any exercise and movement is a good idea. Every day is a new day, and every little bit helps. Don’t beat yourself up about missing your workout or having two… or three pieces of cake. Move on and just set that alarm clock a little earlier for tomorrow. You are human, and you are not alone!
Happy holidays from all of us at Koko FitClub! We are so happy to celebrate with you and be a part of your life.
We wish you all health and happiness in the New Year!