Jumpstart Your Fitness Commitment During the Holidays

Written by  //  October 13, 2013  //  HEALTH & BEAUTY  // 


By Angela M Berry, CPT

The holidays are around the corner. It’s time to plant your fitness seeds. Usually most people give up their fitness and health goals for the holidays. They would rather wait until next year to start over. Why? So you won’t feel guilty when you are eating and drinking at parties or hanging out with friends? That is not a good excuse and a pretty selfish reason for your body. The holidays are the best times to start because the months of October through December can be good practice.  Think of it as a way to get a head start.  So what can you do? I will give you a few seed tips from the inside out — eating and exercise.

Eating Healthy During the Holidays

Don’t go to a party starving!   Eat a light snack before going to holiday parties such as a piece of fruit, a small carton of yogurt, or string cheese before you go. If you’re the party host, use smaller plates to help control portion size.

Remember your purpose.  Holidays are a time to reunite with good friends and family, to share laughter and cheer, to celebrate and to give thanks.

Focus on “weight maintenance vs. weight loss” during the holidays.  If you are currently overweight and want to lose weight, this is not the time to do it. Maintenance of your present weight is a big enough challenge during the holiday season. Don’t set yourself up for failure by making unrealistic goals for yourself

Reduce the fat in holiday recipes. There are plenty of low fat and low calorie substitutes that are amazingly tasty. Try using applesauce in place of oil in your favorite holiday breads; use egg substitutes in place of whole eggs; and try plain non-fat yogurt in place of sour cream.

Maintain perspective. Overeating one day won’t make or break your eating plan. It takes days of overeating to gain weight. If you over-indulge at a holiday meal, put it behind you. Return to your usual eating plan the next day without guilt or despair.

Take steps to avoid recreational eating. Consciously make one plate of the foods you really want. Eat slowly while enjoying and savoring every tasty bite. When you’re done, pop a mint or stick of gum in your mouth and get a tall glass of water to sip on throughout the night. Also position yourself away from the buffet table and food trays.

Choose your beverages wisely. Alcohol is high in calories. Liquors, sweet wines and sweet mixed drinks contain 150-450 calories per glass. By contrast, water and diet sodas are calorie-free. If you choose to drink, select light wines and beers, and use non-alcoholic mixers such as water and diet soda. Limit your intake to 1 or 2 alcoholic drinks per occasion.


Exercising During the Holidays

Walking. Parking further from the entrance of the mall during Christmas shopping will force you to walk. Take the stairs instead of elevator whenever the opportunity is granted. Remember, every little bit adds up!

Failing to plan is planning to fail. If you are planning to join a gym, do it now, you may get a better rate than waiting until January when the demand is high. Commit to some group classes 2-3 days a week and stick with it.

10 minutes of exercise. When you are really short on motivation or time, try to get at least 10 minutes of exercise. Chances are, once you get started you will finish up with the recommended 30 minutes. Even if you do quit after 10 minutes, that is still a lot better than zero!

Exercise before eating. Get in a good solid exercise session right before a big meal. It will increase your will power and your metabolism.

Clean the house! Hey, you need to get ready for the annual family visit anyway. Vigorous house cleaning burns about 150 calories every 30 minutes

Find a workout buddy. Choose a good friend or family member who also wants to lose weight; and together make a commitment to exercise regularly.

Implementing these fitness “seeds” is a great start to a successful exercise and healthy eating regimen!

Angela-BerrybioAngela M. Berry is the owner of My HeartCore Fitness (an In-Home/Office Fitness Co.).  She is nationally certified as well as a certified CPR and AED with the American Heart Association. With over 10 years experience working with older adults and seniors (mainly women), her specialties are weight loss, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance. She is currently studying to further her fitness career by working with cancer patients. Angela has a true passion for health and fitness. She believes that “Dedication + Discipline + Determination = Results” can be accomplished in our 2nd phase of life.


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