Planning for holiday fitness success

Sticking with your diet

  • By
  • | 12:22 p.m. October 6, 2016
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
  • Neighborhood
  • Share

It’s already October and the candy holidays are quickly approaching! Do you have a diet plan in place before you fall into the pitfalls of overeating and setting yourself back from what you’ve achieved this year? 2016 has been a great year for your health a fitness. You’ve joined a gym, increased your activity and have made strides toward your fitness goals. The holidays can pack on 8-10 extra pounds and set you back from your fitness goals if you’re not careful. We don’t want that to happen to you! So what are some things that you can do during the holidays to keep your fitness strides going in the right direction?

The first thing you can do is what this article will help with: develop a plan ahead of time. Without a plan, you leave your health and fitness up to luck. That’s never a good strategy. With increased traveling and the endless appetizers we’ll soon be encountering, the interruption in our daily routine can throw off even the most disciplined dieters. Start anticipating what variables you’ll be encountering, beginning with Halloween. Will you be taking your grandchildren out trick or treating this year? If so, will you be connecting with your family beforehand for a big dinner? Will you be staying after to see your grandchildren opening the candy? While you probably don’t want to completely abstain, you also don’t want to overindulge. Set yourself a limit and stick to it.

The same goes for the increased travel and parties around the Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas time. Will you be going out of town for any of the holidays? How will you stick to your meal plan without the comfort of your kitchen? Do those your visiting have the same healthy eating habits that you’ve developed or will you need to make your own accommodations, so you don’t fall into the unhealthy eating habits of others? Will you be staying in a hotel when you go out of town or with relatives? Finding a hotel with a kitchen can help keep you on track with your cooking, so you don’t fall into the rut of eating out for every meal. If you’re staying with friends or relatives, this is a great opportunity to show them how to eat better if they don’t have the same healthy habits that you have.

If you’re planning for parties be sure to stay hydrated. Drinking water before and during the party is a great way to stave off hunger and it decreases the amount of munching you’ll do on the appetizers. You’ll feel full sooner and not want to keep going back to the buffet for more. Just as you did with Halloween, you’ll want to set yourself a limit on how much you eat. Simply fixing a plate, rather than eating straight from the buffet will help you control the amount that you eat. When you eat directly from the buffet, rather than fixing a plate, you lose the context of how much you’re eating, which leads to overeating. Fixing a single plate of healthy options helps you visualize how much you’re eating, decreasing the likelihood that you’ll overeat.

When fixing you plate focus on the fruits and vegetable and leave the pigs in a blanket behind. Little pastry and meat options may not look too bad, but pack a large caloric and sodium punch for the little food that you get. Fruits and vegetable contain more water, which helps fill you up quicker and reduces the likelihood of overeating, and they’re much lower in calories than you’ll find with the sausage, cheese and crackers.

I’ll have more tips over the coming months to help you through the holidays, but identifying the variables that you’ll encounter and the possible pit falls early on will help ensure that you don’t trip up and have to recommit to the same new year’s resolution in 2017. If you want more specific help or additional accountability throughout the holidays, reach out to us at Anytime Fitness, Winter Park and we can connect with you one of our personal trainers to help you.

Patrick McGaha Jr., member experience manager at Anytime Fitness, Winter Park, is dedicated to building a welcoming environment in the club, conducive to helping members and clients reach their health fitness goals. To get your fitness and nutrition related questions answered by a certified personal trainer, or for a free personal training session, call us at 321-972-5833 or email [email protected]