by Sarah Welch and Alicia Rockmore
It’s the mother of all hangovers – the holiday weight gain. The average person gains between 2-5 pounds over the holiday season, so while it’s may not shock you to learn on January 2rd that you’ve creeped up a bit, it’s definitely disheartening. It’s so hard to resist the cookies and cakes and extra helpings of mashed potatoes…and it’s only once a year, right? Take heart in knowing that you can enjoy yourself this holiday season without getting smacked in the face come January. It just takes a little organization now to save yourself later.
It seems like once December hits, it’s an eating and drinking roller coaster ride and I’m the first one lining up. Whether it’s the goodies in the office, the after-work parties, or the weekend get-togethers, I definitely get caught up in the moment and indulge. I have to remind myself that while it’s once a year, I don’t have to have everything, so I’ve instituted a new rule to avoid the holiday bulge. I let myself have one treat daily. So, if I want to have a slice of cake, that’s fine, but I can’t pop Godivas in my mouth at my desk later that day. One treat makes me feel like I’ve indulged without the overindulgence.”
I feel pulled in so many directions during the holidays. On top of the usual stuff, there are gifts to buy, parties to attend, a house to decorate – it gets crazy. I have found in the past that I tend to drop the “me” time and end up skipping workouts to fit in other tasks. Last year, I made my workouts sacred time and never strayed. It helped me get through the stress of the season and also let me eat a few extra treats without the guilt.”
This is the #1 rule of many diets and once you start writing down what you ate, you’ll be surprised at how many calories you’re consuming. If it goes in your mouth, keep track and write it down (and yes, that fistful of red and green M&Ms should be included!).
There is a reason the buddy system works. People generally want to avoid disappointing others. If you think you’re going to overindulge this season, find a buddy who will keep you accountable. Pick a date (Jan 2nd is always good) and make a bet, then tell your friend that you’ll check in with your weight. If either of you has gained more than 3 pounds from your starting weight, you owe the other one $150. We chose $150 because it is not an inconsequential sum. You can go with less, or more, just make sure that it is a number that will motivate you to avoid the gain. With real money at stake, you’ll be surprised at how you can resist that sprinkle cookie at the office party.
Nobody is perfect and there are just going to be some nights that you ate a handful of tiny quiches for dinner but on the nights that you are home with no obligations, make sure you eat healthy meals and snacks. If you have a hard time with meal planning, we are huge believers in the Five O’Clock Scramble (www.thescramble.com). Buy the cookbook or sign up for the online meal planning system. You put your brain on auto-pilot and make whatever Aviva Goldfarb has on her healthy menu.
For more organizational tips,visit our website at www.getbuttonedup.com.