Ho ho Oh, the gluttonous holidays!

by Nicole Smith on December 2, 2013

 We are now completely in the midst of holiday season, a time of joy, family, giving, and wait…oh yes, GLUTTONY! If you haven’t heard the definition of gluttony lately, it means over-indulgence and consumption of food, drink, and wealth items to the point of extravagance or waste.

Most people will gain minimum of 10lbs during this holiday season, and then on January 1, vow to lose the weight with a strict New Year’s resolution workout regimen, only to give up this resolution in a matter of weeks. What happens then? Well the person starts off the year 5lbs heavier than before and it becomes their new “norm.” Losing the weight becomes even more difficult, cholesterol levels usually rise, and the person gets just a bit more lethargic. Add this up over the years, and this is how people who looked one way in high school ends up looking much heavier by their 40’s. Of course there is sickness, pregnancies, and even slowing metabolism to blame, but I am convinced that it is the yo-yo of 10lbs up, 5lbs down that makes the most of a difference on a person’s body in the long run.

Let’s examine this closer:

We just had Thanksgiving last week. I don’t know about you, but I (and most people) celebrate by feasting with our family and friends. This is ok if it is just for one day. However, 99% of the time there is always tons of leftovers which slowly get eaten throughout the week. Normally, most people don’t eat pie and stuffing EVERY day, yet after the week of Thanksgiving they do in order for it to not go to waste. What’s another kicker to this is as you are now eating more Thanksgiving leftovers sandwichbecause of all your leftovers, your brain and stomach start to adapt your metabolism to this new pattern due to ancient survival techniques that are still in our instinctual system. That means that you stop losing track of how much food you REALLY need, and start adjusting to feeling like you NEED more food in order to be full and you NEED a sweet fix to not be lethargic.

Now, after a week of this adjustment, we enter into the Christmas holiday season. There are so many holiday parties, alcohol consumption, cookie trays at work events, and family celebrations. There is going to be again an overabundance of sweets and fattening foods. We tend to justify “one more cookie” especially during the holiday season because Christmas only comes once a year after all!

After the whole Christmas season, same thing goes for Christmas dinner leftovers, and finally we come to New Year’s Eve, a night usually made up of gluttonous drinking.

Something about the desire to start a year FRESH is very strong in most of us, and then we use our willpower and common-sense to put a stop to all of this over-indulgence and get back on to the healthy bandwagon on Jan. 1.

The problem is, it’s actually hard work to lose 10lbs.

After usually 2-3 weeks of being really “good” with their diets and workouts, most people either catch a cold, get an injury, or just get busy again with work and their hardcore weight loss program goes out the window, leaving them 5lbs heavier than before Thanksgiving started.

So what to do? Despair? Starvation? Never enjoy a holiday again?!!!!! 

Of course I am not suggesting any of the above! What I am suggesting is to use the 3 tips below so that you only gain a couple of pounds, making it easier and more realistic to lose.

  1. First of all, just by knowing what is actually happening is going to give you power to change it. I’m all for enjoying a giant holiday meal on Thanksgiving and Christmas, just know that the next week when you feel like you are super hungry and NEED to eat more than usual that you need to check that feeling and not succumb to it. It won’t take long for your brain to get rewired so that you don’t feel like you need more food than you were normally eating before the holiday.
  2. Second, follow my Holiday Rules to Eat By.  These are tried and true practices that will save you from overindulging no matter how many events you have in your calendar this season.
  3. Third, instead of basing your New Year’s exercise routine on guilt and expecting yourself to do spin class, boot camp, and INSANITY workouts everyday till those pounds are off, go in slower. Get a trainer  (I’m fabulous and have some availability), get on a program that progresses (remember, you were probably pretty inactive for a few weeks during Christmas vacation and can’t start something extremely intense without getting injured), and then monitor your progress over the next two months so that you are inspired to stick to it.

I promise if you do all this, you will feel better mentally, your skin won’t get saggy from the extreme weight gain and loss routine, and you’ll be SO MUCH HEALTHIER.

And remember, HEALTH is the best gift of all.

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