Five “Easy” Tips to Maintain and Not Gain During the Holidays
Author: Milly Nunez, personal trainer and nutrition coach
First of all, when I say “Easy” it does not mean everyone will have the same opinion, but based on my experience as a trainer and successfully losing 40 pounds (and keeping them off!) these are the techniques I used over the holidays.
Tip #1: It is a Holi-DAY, not Holi-MONTH, etc.
Select one meal or one event on those special days to indulge. For example, I know that I will indulge at my mom’s traditional tamale Christmas Eve dinner. I wake up that day and have my regular meals at my usual times; I even fit in a workout if it is a part of my regular schedule. If you are spending the day with your family and cannot follow your regular routine, then eat smaller portions throughout the day and again let yourself indulge at one meal. Most of us have felt that “food coma”, indigestion, or heart burn then vow not to do it again, let’s try and keep that promise this year.
Tip #2: Be extra good before the holidays.
We all know that there will be extra food and most of it delicious during the holiday season; even our jobs have food! Let’s take some time and eat well and exercise more in preparation for the holidays. We may not be able to cut calories during the holidays but we can certainly spend more by increasing our activity levels. Park further at work or at the shopping centers. Prepare meals with more greens and less treats while at home knowing you will be surrounded by them soon enough.
Tip #3: Make a plan.
We all keep schedules so why not use them to help us keep those pounds off during the holidays. Know where and when you will be celebrating the holidays. Can you fit in some exercise? Can you preview the menus and select what you will be eating ahead of time? We all want to look and feel good and avoiding holiday stress and weight gain can certainly help.
Tip #4: Keep your hands full.
Carry a glass of water with you during your festivities. You will stay hydrated and have a hard time carrying a full plate of food or accepting a glass full of alcohol or some other delicious high calorie drink. Water will help you feel full so you are more likely to eat less. Remember that our bodies confuse dehydration with hunger and eating will only increase the feeling so we overeat never addressing the real problem – hydration.
Tip #5: Set a game plan for after the holidays.
Whether you gain, maintain, or lose weight during the holidays the majority of us will have a fitness resolution for the new year. Set it now and make a plan. For example, contact a personal trainer and set your appointment for as soon as you can after the holidays. Enroll now for the January nutrition challenge or fitness class that you want to join. Not sure what to do? Reach out to somebody that can help you so you can enjoy the holidays knowing you already have a plan.
Most importantly, enjoy your time with family, friends, and loved ones. Know that every day is a gift and we are fortunate to be able to wake up every day and make ourselves just a little bit better every day. Progress over perfection will take you further.
If you’d like more information on how to improve your health through exercise and nutrition, please contact me.
Milly Nuñez, CPT
Milly Nuñez graduated from the University of California Davis in 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree in Managerial Economics and later completed her Masters in Business Administration in 2007. After 10 years of working in business she discovered her true passion in personal training. She enrolled in Bryan College where she studied and received her Associates degree in Advanced Health and Fitness Training in 2011.
She discovered personal training after participating in a women’s running group. After successfully completing her first 5K, 10K, and ½ marathon she began participating with the group as a coach. Inspired by all of the women who participated and reached their goals she took the advice of her personal trainer and pursued her new career. After five years as a personal trainer Milly decided to add the title of sports nutritionist to her resume. Currently, she works with clients to help them improve their health as it relates to fitness and nutrition.
When she is not working with her clients she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and learning. She considers herself a life-long learner and actively pursues challenges in her own personal fitness both in fitness and nutrition.