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Wednesday, 30 November 2011

How to maintain our weight over the holidays....

This is the million dollar question many of us ask this time of the year. We all come to this time of year and become over stressed with massive amounts of holiday crunch time shopping, trying to schedule family visits and trying to make the best Christmas we can for those we love. In all of this, our bodies and our fitness levels get left behind. We socially except overheating of sweets, turkey dinners, homemade traditions and cheap Walmart chocolate. In doing so, the average male adult puts on just over 2lbs over the holidays and females it on an average of 1.7lbs. Sure, you have new years resolutions to save you from this holiday binge, but often times the weight we put o. Over the holidays is there to stay. Our bodies want another layer of ft to keep us warm in the cold, dark winter. That layer can mean the difference between a large shirt and an extra large t-shirt. 
   Although I do not have all of the answers and probably new ver will, this fact still concerns me. I enjoy the holidays and I love eating good food, but it is absolutely essential that we get our workouts in over the holiday season. Last year, I ran the 2nd annual Christmas eve run in Oxford NS we another person. While sporting Christmas themed shirts, we ran 5km and talked abut Christmas and what we wanted under the tree and our new year to come. The weather sucked but the memories live on. The time we shared in that run on Christmas eve is something I wish to do each and every Christmas eve. This is one example of how to practice weight maintenance over the holidays. When it's a holiday, go out and do something, not because you have to, but because you want to. Grab a family member or a friend you haven't seen in awhile and go for a walk with them on boxing day instead of sleeping off the turkey and festive treats.  If you have vacation time, you do not have to get up early, but when you do get up, role out of bed and get some sort of exercise in to ignite your metabolism for the remainder of the day. Exercising in the mornings will allow you to burn more calories throughout the day. Also, add caffeine to your day to keep your metabolism up. If you are going to consume alcoholic beverages moderate them with water. If eggnog is your thing, try a carton of fat free or reduced fat eggnog. If you really enjoy enjoy gingerbread cookies, have one without frosting and candy on it. Eat more turkey and less potatoes and dessert. The potatoes and desserts are full of carbs and little protein and protein is your main muscle ingredient. Finally, don't exercise so you can eat, eat so that you can exercise. Simply put, do not exercise and think that you can consume whatever you want as you will ultimately put weight on. Instead, think about what we are eating, why we are eating and then allow yourself to exercise around that.
   It's important to note that we can enjoy the holidays and the food that is socially attached to this time of year as long as we remain active and engaged in physical activity as much as possible. You may be criticized for doing so, But those who love you will accept your decisions to partake in exercise despite its inconvenience at Christmas time.

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