Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, meaning very soon many people will be attending dinners, staying inside snuggling under a favorite blanket, binging on baked goods and hot cocoa and the list goes on. It’s also the time of year when people are more concerned about packing on the pounds because of the amount of food consumed and minimal or reduced amount of physical activity.
Do not head into this holiday season without a health plan! Here are some tips to prevent unwanted weight gain and even drop some pounds before the New Year begins.
We are three weeks away from Thanksgiving and two months away from New Year’s Eve. That is plenty of time for you to drop at least eight-10 pounds.
Paying attention to your food intake will be the most important part of this process. Look at your week and see what days you have dinners and other outings scheduled. Plan your meals for the week to accommodate the dinners, but also plan what you want to eat and how much you want to drink. Be realistic, but stretch yourself by disciplining yourself. At the dinners, eat what you need, treat yourself to a dessert item or an alcoholic beverage and enjoy yourself! You will feel better about yourself knowing that you are eating what you planned to eat instead of leaving it to chance or not eating and then binging.
The next tip is to exercise. If you never work out, start with at least one hour per week and, if you already do that, commit to two hours per week. When you work out, try to hit every single muscle group. Adding weights to these exercises will maximize your results. The goal is to begin developing your muscle to jumpstart your overall metabolism. If you are training two times per week, you can do 15 minutes of cardio before your workout and then choose some muscle groups to focus on. If you are working out from home, search for the most common body-weight exercises to do. You can modify these exercises by adding weights, increasing repetitions or holding a certain position for a couple of seconds before returning to the start position. Also, simple physical activity throughout the day such as taking walks and not sitting for too long are helpful and have great mental-health benefits as well.
Remember, this is all a process and it will require discipline and a commitment, but will ultimately prevent holiday weight gain. If it’s done right, you will be on your way to slimming down.
Megan Niño is a kinesiologist and personal trainer who trains out of 12th Street Gym. She is an energetic and positive person who prides herself on teaching others to find empowerment in their lives through fitness.