Avoid December Weight Gain

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Health and fitness rules to get you through the holidays

The sounds of caroling are upon us, so you know the holidays are near! However, with the Christmas trees and gift-giving, also bring events, dinners and parties; which can be a point of concern for your health and fitness goals. How do you enjoy your December without losing any momentum on all the progress you’ve made with your health and fitness? Here are four tips to eat your cake and squat too, so that you can enter January feeling good and healthy.

Start each day on a high note!

Instead of letting the events and workouts compete for your time, hit the gym first thing in the morning. A study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise shows that getting your exercise done in the morning means you’re more likely to be in a better mood and have good habits throughout the day. Women who were part of the research showed increased willpower to fend off cravings and binging after a morning workout, than those who didn’t. In addition, it leaves the rest of your day free to go for that party or function without the ‘skipping gym’ guilt.

Time to get picky

Don’t eat with your eyes, nor should you deprive yourself. It may be tempting to go crazy on all the holiday-inspired treats, but it’s all about balance. You are not the run-of-the-mill woman, and you deserve the best. So, decide which of the special holiday treats are important to you, indulge those and skip the rest. Remember, everything in moderation!

Get a gym buddy

The holidays are a time when you’re catching up with friends and family that you haven’t seen as much through the year. The old train of thought is to exercise hard through the year so that you can shock a compliment out of them when they see all your progress. However, bodybuilding.com warns that this may have the effect of frustrating them more than inspiring them. You may even be encouraged to binge out more than you planned to. Instead, invite them to join you for some gym sessions or to hit the running track together. It will not only hold you accountable to your goals, but it will encourage them to have an open, natural conversation or ask questions they may have on the subject.

Follow the 80/20 rule

Dinner time will have more options than usual, so you want to split your plate into an 80% to 20% ratio. The former percentage should be made up of fruits as well as steamed or fresh vegetables to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs. The latter can be made up of your holiday favorites. If you’re not 100% about your willpower, start off your meal with the healthy stuff that will make you feel more satiated with less. Then you can have the unhealthy items near the end. Most significantly, consciously work on staying hydrated.

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