If you are trying to gain weight, it would appear that the Holidays are a great time to make this happen. When we think of Christmas, the thoughts of family, food, and gifts are almost immediate. Christmas and the holiday season really are a time when food is present and over-consumed. How can it not? The television shows us supermarket commercials of families having an amazing time together. We see reunions of loved ones coming together when they have spent many days or weeks many miles apart. Don’t forget the pet companion commercials where the unconditional love of an animal is displayed on a video reel. Lastly, pumpkins spice everything up beginning in November. And what is the common denominator besides all the love? Food. Delicious, abundant, sweet and savory food.
It is almost as if we are conditioned to HAVE to eat. Don’t get me wrong, dinner with the family when we have sweater weather outside is a great thought and a good time; however, the other association that comes with that is not so good. The misconception that we MUST gain weight or body fat, or at least the thought that it is ok, is one that we must do away with. We go into the holidays almost believing that we must gain weight or body fat. This mindset will set us up for failure.
What can we do to help prevent the unwanted gains? See the list below for some tips and tools to help you stay on track with your goals.
- Make a mental note starting early in the holiday season that you do not HAVE to gain weight. It is not a challenge to eat as many calories as possible. You are not competing with anyone over the holiday season.
- If you do compete, compete with someone who will challenge you to not to gain weight. This can be fun because you can challenge each other to who exercised the most, which person ate less dessert, who ate only one plate, etc. You can be creative with this.
- When having large dinners, incorporate a light breakfast.
- EXERCISE! LIFT WEIGHTS. RUN. WALK. Keep your workout routine in check. No slacking off.
- Prepare your own dish and take it where you are attending breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Contribute your talents.
- Don’t forget to stay hydrated. Drink water before, during and after your meals to keep feeling full. Make it a goal to drink at least 10 cups a day.
Holiday season is a great time to challenge your inner cook, have fun with loved ones, and reflect on how blessed you are. Holidays are meant to be enjoyed and to bring people together. They are not meant to pack on pounds and practice poor eating habits, unless that is your goal. Just know it will make it a bit tougher to “comeback” after the holiday, but you can do it. Most importantly, enjoy the holiday season!