Get Back on Track After the Holidays

Posted on December 27th, 2011 by Amy Hunt - 0 Comments

Spokane Fitness Blog by Amy Hunt

I don’t know about you, but my past couple weeks has looked a little like this…

…Evenings/days with family or friends

…Indulging in rich, delicious food

…Topping those meals off with some form of Christmas-y dessert cheer.

The holiday season is one of the few times when it’s socially acceptable to stuff yourself…and depending on who you’re around, even encouraged!

Because you find yourself surrounded by loved ones who are ready to eat and a huge amount of incredible food in front of you, it’s hard to say no. While a little moderation during the holiday season can be useful, this isn’t always possible to do. As a result, the end of the holiday season may bring with it the need for you to loosen your belt by a notch or two.

Now that you’re beginning to come out of your food coma, you’re probably thinking about what you need to do to get back on track with your eating and fitness. Although you may feel like this is going to be a nearly impossible task to accomplish, the good news is there are quite a few useful tips you can follow to minimize the damage of your holiday splurges:

1. What’s Done is Done

Let’s not cry over spilled milk, ok?

I’m right there with you. Prior to the holiday season, you may have thought (as I did!) of all kinds of plans for how you were going to limit your food intake. If you succeeded in following most of these plans, give yourself a pat on the back for finding a way to enjoy the holidays without pigging out.

However, if your plans ended up going out the window and you ate far more than you expected, don’t beat yourself up for it.

The worst thing you can do is let your overindulgence during the holidays continue to keep you off track. Many people make the mistake of thinking that since they “screwed up” during the last month, there’s no reason for them to start worrying about their weight loss until they settle into January. While this is a very common train of thought, it’s nothing more than a trap.

 

Instead of letting yourself continue to spin, you need to take control of your weight loss. TODAY!!! The best way to do this is to not hold your holiday eating against yourself and instead direct your focus to what you’re going to do now.

2. Get Back to a Formal Meal Structure

One of the reasons it’s so easy to pack on the pounds during the holiday season is because you have far less structure than normal. Since you were probably off work on multiple occasions, you likely got into the habit of eating when you felt like it instead of when your schedule allowed.

Although grazing on holiday cooking or leftovers can be quite yummy, it’s time to add structure back to your eating habits. Instead of snacking your way through the day, you need to return to the meal structure that works for you.

For some, this means 4 to 5 small meals a day. For others, three meals plus a healthy snack in the afternoon works best. Regardless of your specific routine, the important thing is to cut out all the nibbling. Although taking a few bites here and there may not seem much, the calories from this type of constant snacking can quickly add up.

3. Increase Your Fiber Intake

Even when you return to a regular eating schedule throughout the day, one issue that many people face is an ongoing feeling of hunger. The reason this happens is because your stomach got used to being stuffed at every meal. As a result, even though you’re still eating plenty, your body feels like it’s getting ripped off.

One of the best ways to decrease feelings of hunger is to eat more fiber. You can start your day with more fiber by eating oatmeal. Even if you don’t find the texture of hot oatmeal to be appealing, you can still fill up by throwing a handful of oats into the blender when you make a protein shake.

Fiber One bars are another convenient way to get a solid dose of fiber. Although they’re obviously more processed than plain oats, it’s easy to put one in your bag and have it in the afternoon. While one bar only has 150 calories, it will leave you feeling full for several hours.

4. Don’t Use the Cold as an Excuse to Avoid Exercise

Eating well is crucial for getting back on track with your weight loss.

However, this doesn’t mean you can simply neglect exercise. Not only is regular exercise important for your health, but you also need it to help you burn more calories and increase your body’s lean muscle.

Even if you’re already working out at an indoor facility, it’s still easy to use the cold as an excuse not to get yourself to your workout facility. If you feel tempted to skip your workout and stay curled up on the couch, you can use the next tip to overcome this obstacle.

5. Add Some Motivation

You can help fight the urge to put off getting back on track by giving yourself some form of visual motivation. Using a visual motivator to remind yourself that warm weather will arrive in as little as three months can work very well for getting back into the swing of things.

One way to do this is with a calendar.

Many people find that something as simple as putting an X on each day they meet their goal and trying not to break their streak is an excellent source of motivation.

Another option is to hang up a skinny picture of yourself or someone else.

You may also find that hanging up your swimsuit works well as a reminder for why you don’t want to put off refocusing on your goals.

Do you feel like you’re ready to get back on track with your weight loss and fitness goals? What are you going to do TODAY to get back on track??

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