Even if you've developed Superman-like powers in the eating and exercise department, you may be afraid that the holidays will be your kryptonite. Let's face it - with all the celebrations and festivities that occur between now and New Year’s Day - it can be tough to stay on track.
Temptations will be all around. Office celebrations. Your mom's famous sweet potato pie. Macaroni and cheese, potato salad, and candied yams. Eggnog. A severe case of the lazies and "I-don't-feel-like-it-itis." How will you fare?
The book of wisdom reminds us that succeeding in any task is a process:
“Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.”
~Proverbs 24:27 ESV
Your ability to weather the holiday storm will hinge on two simple acts: planning and preparation.
If you don’t plan or prepare for the most wonderful time of the year, chances are good that you'll start New Year in the hole. To make matters worse, studies show that many of us never lose that holiday padding and end up packing on an extra 10-20 pounds per decade. Yikes! I know you don't want that to be your story so over the coming weeks, I’ll be providing tips to keep you “on point”.
Here are the first three:
1. Don’t forget your H20! Drink 2-3 full glasses of water in the two hours prior to your office party, ministry fellowship, or night out. It's a simple way to curb your appetite.
2. Do enjoy a salad before your meal. Another trick to curb your appetite and leave less room for high-calorie foods. Oh, and beware of creamy dressings, they are laden with fat and sugar. Choose a fat-free vinaigrette or Italian and drizzle, don’t pour.
3. Don’t skip your workout. Consistency is especially important this time of year. If you’re short on time, don’t let yourself off the hook. Even a quick 15 min. workout can help you maintain your fitness level, so make the commitment to get one in!
Which of these tips will you put in place to set yourself up for success?
Until next time,
Got off track over the holidays? No worries. It happens to me too! What I have learned is that the gravest error is not falling down, but choosing to stay there.
Here is the simple 3-step process I use to get back on track. I believe it can help you too.
STEP 1: Forgive.
Often we are so forgiving of others, but when was the last time you gave yourself a break? Dwelling in your mistakes does major damage to your self-esteem. It makes you a prisoner when what you really need is to be set free. Let it go, forgive and move on!
STEP 2: Learn.
The healthy way to respond to our mistakes is not to dwell on them but to learn from them. What triggered the series of events? And I need you to go deeper than the incident that just occurred. Every action that we take is a result of a thought. What thoughts led you to this place? What people, places, or things sparked that thought? Is there a bigger, underlying issue that you need to address? Unless we take the time to learn from our past, we are doomed to repeat it.
STEP 3: Resolve.
"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently."
You veered off track? So what?! Everyone does. What’s going to make you different is what you decide to do now. Resolve and plan to do it differently next time. It may seem like you've been here so many times before that there is no hope. I'm here to tell you that there is hope. As long as you are alive, you have the potential to change. All you have to do is activate that potential by deciding not to give up and beginning again more intelligently. Use what you learned in step two to come up with a new plan.
Here are a few ideas that you can implement over the next 3-7 days to get you started:
So forgive yourself, learn from your mistakes and come up with a new game plan that sets you up for success.
Need help with your get back on track game plan? Click here to schedule a chat with me.
The big day is almost here. Congrats to you for taking the time to come up with a plan before the holidays arrive! Now you know how exactly how much freedom you can have without getting completely off track. By thinking about what you are going to do beforethe big day arrives, you avoid making rash, emotional decisions and paying the price later. Finally, a holiday season with no regrets!
If only it were that easy.
You know me, I believe in keeping it 100. I would be doing you a disservice if I didn't warn you to expect the unexpected:
I don’t share this to scare you but so that you are prepared. You will now be able say to yourself, “Coach Tam told me this would happen!”, go right into firefighting mode, and WIN.
Here's the key: thinking beyond the now. In the moment, it easily feels like that will be the last homemade macaroni and cheese you will ever have an opportunity to eat, and you have to have it. In reality we know that’s not true. There will be more chances. Even if there aren’t, what harm is really done?
As a recovering foodaholic I often have to remind myself that my life does not revolve around food. I have other more important things to live for and so do you. You don’t have to stuff yourself just because it’s there. You can enjoy food without going overboard. You just have to remember that the commitment you made is important that that mac and cheese!
Not convinced? Click here for your pep talk.
This isn’t typical trainer talk but in my view it’s okay and even healthy to go off plan from time to time. In my experience one of the secrets to losing the weight and keeping it off is cutting yourself some slack now and again. Developing healthy habits is hard work and takes a toll on the mind, body and soul so yes give yourself a break! The key is to avoid getting carried away :).
Tamara, have you ever noticed that the longer you allow yourself to be off, the harder it is to get back on track? I have so I have to watch it. My rule of thumb is that my “vacation” does not exceed 3-4 days. After that, it’s time to get back to business. That means by the Monday after Thanksgiving, you and I should be back “on plan.”
A point of clarification: Remember that even when you are off plan, you’re not going hog wild. We’re talking going at most 10-15% over your typical daily calorie limit. If you’re normally working with 1,500 calories, you now have 1,650-1,7225. Just enough to give you a little more freedom but not enough to derail your transformation.
Want more freedom? You can't have your cake and eat it too so there has to be a trade off. That means you need to move more so that you still keep your calories in check. You’re going to have to make some hard choices if you really want to reach your goals.
Click here for a quick video to help think this through.
Tomorrow I'll be back to wrap things up and wish you well for Thanksgiving. I'll also include the info on the Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday workouts. In the meantime, let's knock out our last decision point.
Decision Point #4: Set a “Stop Date”.
This is the day that you will go back to eating “on plan”. It should be no more than 4 days since you were last “on plan” unless you are willing to run the risk of gaining weight.
My stop date is ________________________. It is an adjustment but it will be worth it to accomplish my goal!
Your biggest fan,
I hope your day is off to a good start!
Yesterday, we talked about how you can enjoy macaroni and cheese without guilt. Click here to catch up if you missed it.
Now let’s move on to Decision Point #3: Choose Your Commitments.
Short on time? Here's a quick video that sums it all up.
You’ve been working on developing a healthy lifestyle which includes healthy eating and exercise, so the question is what is your exercise plan over the holidays? Are you going to work out? Or are you going to take some time “off”?
If your goal is to lose weight during the holidays, sticking to your workout schedule is going to be imperative! If you skip your workouts, you’ll have to eat even less than you normally do in order to continue to lose weight and how hard is that during the holidays?
If your goal is to maintain, sticking to your schedule will make it easier to do that and if you move more than usual (by extending your workout or adding in an extra) you will have freedom to enjoy your favorite foods without worrying about the consequences.
I think it’s easy to see that exercising is your best option so it’s time to make some decisions.
I'll be back with decision point #4 tomorrow but for now, let's get clear on #3.
Decision Point #3: Choose Your Commitments.
Decide on days, times, and workouts. Bonus points for getting other friends and family members in on the fun!
My work out days will be _____________________________________________.
I will workout at ______ AM/PM each day.
Thanksgiving will be here in a few days. Are you ready?
Yesterday, we talked about the importance of going in to the holiday season with a plan.Click here to catch up if you missed it.
Now let’s move on to Decision Point #2: What are my boundaries?
If you want lose weight or maintain your weight, you must set boundaries! Might seem like a foreign concept with it the season of indulgence, but yes, boundaries are necessary if you want to stay on track with your goals. A little freedom is okay, utter disregard for boundaries is not. Even when you indulge, you’ll want to do so within reason.
Here’s the deal…
If your goal is to lose weight, you’ll need to ensure you daily calorie average remains in the target range even with the treats included (If you need help determining how many calories you should eat, we can help).
If your goal is to maintain your weight, the name of the game is balance – energy balance that is. This means what you eat each day must be completely offset by how many calories your burn.
Truth: Whether you want to lose or maintain, the key to success is knowing how many calories you’re eating. So decide now to put your food into your My Fitness Pal or Lose It app, or track it manually.
More truth: It is very common to underestimate how many calories we are eating. Our super-sized society has caused us to lose sight of appropriate portion sizes, so this is an important step to ensure we don’t end up disappointed down the road.
Quick Tip: Decide how many plates you’ll get at dinner now (hint: the answer is 1) and choose what items are must haves (for me it was yams, mac and cheese, and cake) and forgo or get super small portions of the rest.
Decision Point #2: Set your boundaries.
I am going to have _____ plate(s) of food.
My “must have” foods (no more than 3) are _____________, _____________, and ______________.
Even though I am indulging I will chose reasonable portions so that I have no regrets. I will use ________________ (app or paper tracker) to track my caloric intake
Here's a quick video to drive the point home.
Stay tuned for step #3 of your Holiday Survival Game Plan on tomorrow.
Let’s keep it 100 Tamara
What do you REALLY want to accomplish during the holidays?
If you want to lose weight, it IS possible and this plan will show you how. If you want to enjoy yourself but not lose ground, maintain is the name of the game. But, it’s a delicate balance – go too far Tamaraand you could end up in the gain crowd. No one plans to be there, but it happens. Stay close to your inbox and follow this plan so that doesn't end up being your story, okay?
If you’re not used to setting health & fitness goals around the holiday season, don’t worry you are not alone. It’s a relatively new concept for me too. I reached my goal weight in October of 2008 just a little over a month before Thanksgiving. I had no clue of what I was going to do but I knew I couldn't afford to slip back into old habits. I was scared! I decided that if I was going to survive it, I had to have a plan. So now I am asking you to do the same.
Click here for a quick video on why this is so important.
Okay Tamara, the ball is in your court. You have a decision to make.
Decision Point #1: Decide where you want to be on January 1st.
On January 1, 2016, I want to weigh _______ pounds. This means I am committing to ___________ (lose/maintain/gain) over the holidays.
Tomorrow I’ll be back with step #2 of your Holiday Game Plan.
Listen, I have good news and bad news. Let's get the bad news out of the way first.
The Bad News
Statistics show that gaining 5 or more pounds over the holidays is pretty much the norm these days. No one intends for it to happen. It just kind of does. Here's why: most people don't know how to avoid it.
The Good News
That will not be your story! I've figured out how to beat the odds and I'm going to let you in on my success secrets.
I start dropping deets from my Holiday Survival Success Kit tomorrow.
Click here for a quick intro.
You've got this.
Always in your corner,
7 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay “On Point” Over the Holidays
1. Don’t forget your H20! Drink 2-3 full glasses of water in the two hours prior to sitting down for your Thanksgiving meal. It's a simple way to curb your appetite.
2. Do go easy on the alcohol. There is truth in that “blame it on the alcohol” song! Alcohol can stimulate hunger cravings and lower your inhibitions making it harder to stick to your eating plan. Give yourself a one drink max.
3. Don’t take a nap after dinner! Instead, rev your metabolism by getting the family together for a walk. Or get moving by getting an early start on your holiday shopping. No, it’s not the same as a full blown workout but it does help.
4. Do enjoy a salad before dinner. Another simple way to help curb your appetite and limit high calorie foods.
5. Don’t forget the veggies (and no Grandma’s sweet potatoes don’t count). Fill up 2/3 of your plate with delicious, low-calorie vegetables. Go easy on butter and cheese as they help pack on the pounds. For bonus points (and a lower calorie count), go green with your veggies.
6. Do experiment by swapping old calorie laden recipes for healthier ones. If you’re concerned about how they will taste, make a small version now so there are no surprises. Who knows? Maybe you'll stumble on the next great addition to your yearly Thanksgiving tradition!
7. Don’t rush through your meal. While food is often the center of attention on Thanksgiving Day, the fellowship is equally if not more important. Pace yourself by putting your fork down between bites and joining in on the conversation. People who eat slower eat less.
HOLIDAY DO's and DON'Ts to Stay "On Point":
Don’t bank calories. Skipping breakfast, snacks & lunch only sets you up for a big pig-out at dinner time. Eat on your normal schedule to avoid overeating at dinner time.
Don’t skip your workout. Consistency is especially important this time of year.If you’re short on time, don’t let yourself off the hook. Even a quick 15 min. workout can help you maintain your fitness level, so make the commitment to get one in!
Don't give up #sweets. Instead, have a slither of your favorite #dessert and savor every bite. Choose moderation over deprivation as the latter almost always backfires.
Do track your calories. Keeping track will help you avoid sleepwalking through your decisions and regretting it later.
Do load up on turkey. It is a great source of lean, healthy protein. Your best option is white meat as it is lower in calories per ounce than dark.
Do exercise restraint. Go easy on the mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, cake, and pie. The calories add up quickly.
coach tam's Blog
40-something who loves food, fitness, and fun!