Holiday Fitness Tips

 As we enter the holiday season, many of us stress out about gaining excess weight. With all of the delicious meals and family gatherings filled with baked goods, how could one not be tempted? There are many ways to beat the battle of the bulge and even improve your fitness level before the New Year rolls around. Below is  The Zoo Health Club’s top 12 tips for staying in shape throughout the Holidays and avoiding the typical holiday weight gain.

  1. Set Some Fitness Goals and Have a Plan: First and foremost I would recommend that you set fitness goals and stick to a plan. Without goals and a plan to go by it is just too easy to start missing workouts and blowing the diet.
  2. Use Moderation When Cheating On Your Diet: Allow yourself to indulge a little here and there, but limit your portions. Far too many of us think “Oh, it’s a holiday so I should eat as many treats as I can because once the holiday season is over, I can’t have treats anymore!” This is a huge misconception! Why not have a small taste of what you want, and enjoy the time with your family rather than a huge plate of food and a belly ache. Cookies and pies are around 365 days a year, and with planned cheat meals you can enjoy them every week. So don’t make the holiday season a reason to ruin your hard earned results.
  3. Make Yourself A Goal To Do Something Active Each Day: It might not be your average workout, but try to get out and move for at least 30 minutes.
  4. When Short On Time, Emphasize The Weights Training Portion Of Your Workouts: Muscle aids in burning fat, and will help to fight off the extras that you normally don’t eat. If you are going to cut the workout short for the day, I would suggest hitting the weights first, even at the expense of cardio. If this is the case, you can use supersets and giant sets to make your weight training workouts more aerobic in nature.
  5. Eat A Balance Of Macronutrients: Do not cut out any food groups as you will most likely be hungry and eat foods that your body doesn’t really need. If you are hungry, fill up on protein and veggies as protein increases your metabolism by up to 20% and veggies take more calories to digest than what they contain.
  6. Limit Your Alcohol Consumption: you are better off eating an extra cookie than consuming numerous cocktails. Excess alcohol just contributes too much to fat gain.
  7. Drink Plenty Of Water: Many times we will overeat because we are dehydrated and thirsty. Therefore, make sure that your water intake is adequate. Besides, water also gives you a sense of fullness so if properly hydrated you will be consuming less food.
  8. Eat Your Regularly Scheduled Meals: If you skip meals in preparation for a family gathering and the buffet of food set out at a holiday party, you are setting yourself up for disaster. Make sure that you eat all of your meals and that the carbohydrates in all of these meals have a low glycemic index; especially breakfast as research indicates that people who eat a breakfast with low glycemic carbs, will typically eat significantly less food and have more stable energy levels than those who do not.
  9. Don’t Keep “Danger” Foods Around: We all have some food that will trigger a binge, so try to keep these food out of the house.
  10. Brush Your Teeth Following A Meal: Sounds silly but who wants to eat after they have that minty fresh breath?
  11. Limit Your Time In Front Of The Television Set: Rather than sitting in front of the television set when you have some free time, spend time with the ones you love by visiting them or giving them a call. In this manner, you will not be influenced by the numerous commercials that constantly market foods and you will get to spend time with your loved ones (which is what the Holidays should be all about) at the same time.
  12. Plan A Time Each Week To Wear One Of Your Favorite Tight Outfits: Whether it is a cute holiday dress for the girls, or a new muscle baring shirt for the guys, once you have in your mind that you want to wear your “hot” outfit for a particular reunion or party, you will be less likely to stuff your face. Since this is the Holidays, typically you will have at least one of these every ten days or so. You can, in this manner, save your cheat meals  for the particular reunion, and then eat clean the remainder of the time.


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