I can already smell the pies, the rolls and the pumpkin spice, which are not always very nice to my thighs. Oh, how the holidays can take over our lives and throw us off track from our goals.
I get it. Mama’s cooking is too good to miss, and through all the laughter and walks down memory lane, you are three plates in before dinner even starts.
It happens. We become mindlessly consumed with all the stimulation from relatives visiting to the holiday cheer and the good old traditions. You are stuck on a holiday roller coaster. You have created habits over the years to justify not making time for your workouts, overeating and indulging more than usual.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying a piece of pie every now and again, but do you really need the whole apple pie on Christmas Day?
It’s time to wake up, Sleeping Beauty, and start to acknowledge what you are doing. You are stuck in an unconscious cycle and going through the same motions every year. The first step to breaking your holiday cycle and break free from your poison apple of holiday weight gain is to acknowledge the habits you want to change. Here are a few ways to get through the holidays fit and step into the new year with a new rear.
Create a Workout Schedule
No need to try and create an unrealistic plan of trying to hit the gym six days a week for two hours. Try picking one hour, two to three days a week, so you can be consistent. If possible, schedule the days for the same time, e.g., Mondays and Wednesdays at 5 p.m. or Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 a.m.
Once you’ve set your two to three days a week, make these days/times nonnegotiable. No canceling on yourself, no substitutes, no excuses. If you get in more days than what you schedule, those are bonus days.
Mindful, Not Mindless, Eating
It’s OK to enjoy the holiday treats, but do your best not to eat mindlessly. Enjoy that cookie, piece of pie or pumpkin roll. Do not beat yourself up for living life. What you can do is learn to balance your meals for the day, so if you know your dinner is going to be high in carbs, start your morning with a high-protein breakfast. My go-to is salmon-and-egg-white tacos – 4 ounces of salmon, four to six egg whites and some veggies scrambled in two to three corn tortillas topped with ¼ avocado (optional).
Stick with the Plan
Stay true to yourself and your goals. It’s not rude to say, “No thank you,” to the peer pressure from friends and co-workers to join in on the holiday treat fest. Your peers are not trying to sabotage you; they are just trying to be courteous. It is up to you to help them become aware of your changes through your consistent actions. Show them your results instead of talking about your goals. ￼
Alex Garzaro is a lifestyle strategist, weight loss expert for women and transformational speaker. The views expressed are her own.