By Jan Hauser
Weight Loss Coach, Personal Trainer Food
Chances are, you’ll be tempted to make at least one of these common blunders this holiday season. In fact, you might even be making one right now.
Here’s what to watch out for…
#1 Running on coffee so you can eat at the holiday party later.
…drops your blood sugars too low, setting you up for binge-eating.
THE FIX: Eat your regularly scheduled meals to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Doing this will help you think more clearly so you can make healthier choices at the holiday party. You will eat far fewer calories and sweets this way.
#2 Weighing yourself to see how fattening last night’s meal was.
Stepping on the scale during the holiday season can be discouraging. But what’s up with gaining 5, 7… even 10 pounds in one day?
THE FIX: If your scale makes you want to give up, put it away. The huge swings you see aren’t fat, it’s water weight. If you must weigh, do it 4 days after eating an off-plan meal. It takes about 3 days for your body to lose the excess water gained from eating too many carbs and sugars.
#3 Hitting the gym to work off the
Guilt-driven workouts are not fun, and will not help you permanently lose fat.
THE FIX: Commit to a daily walk on a treadmill or outside. About 20 minutes is all you need to prime your body to burn fat. This simple, consistent routine will get longer-lasting results than a 3-hour guilt workout done twice a month.
#4 Sharing and pinning sweet recipes “for later.”
Filling your wall with food porn while you are trying to lose weight is a sign that you are not entirely focused on your goals.
THE FIX: Scroll right on past those recipes. When the day comes that you really do need to make a no-bake chocolate bomb in a coffee mug, you can google it. It will still be there for you. Instead of off-plan recipes, share and post things that inspire you to stay on track.
#5 Sucking the joy out of holiday meals with math.
Counting points, zones, calories …or grams of anything during your holiday meal is a total buzzkill. All that math is not necessary!
THE FIX: If you eat the right kind of foods, you never have to do math to lose weight. Fill your plate with meats, eggs, veggies, and cheeses. These foods help to burn body fat. Here’s a great guide to help you navigate holiday meals.
#6 Binge-watching Christmas movies and Netflix.
Are you feeling tired? Fatigue tells your body to store fat, not burn it. With darkness coming earlier each day, it is easy to lose track of how late it is, especially as you watch TV.
THE FIX: To prevent losing track of time, set a reminder on your phone 30 minutes before your bedtime. That’s enough time to get ready for bed and say “good night John Boy!”
#7 Baking 3,000 Christmas cookies –a month before Christmas.
When we fill our kitchen and freezer with cookies to give away to family and friends, the temptation is too great. One …or (let’s be honest) five cookies a day for 30 days ends up right on your waistline.
THE FIX: Bake cookies closer to when you will actually give them away. The less time they are in your house, the less you will eat. Don’t have time for that? Consider buying cookies online and have them delivered instead.
#8 Drinking to deal with holiday stress.
If you are raising a glass of good cheer as part of your celebration, then here, here! But if you’re drinking because of bottled up stress, you need a healthier alternative.
THE FIX: If you already know a holiday event will be stressful, try avoiding alcohol. Booze won’t solve any problems, but a clear head might. Limit the alcohol you keep at home so you aren’t tempted to tie on more than a few. Better yet, pour sparkling water in a wine glass for a calorie-free drink. All class –and no hangover!
#9 Not taking care of yourself.
Your gift-wrapping (and people) skills are going to seriously suffer if you let yourself get burned out. When you are going haywire, your body is too, stalling fat loss.
THE FIX: If you are feeling short-tempered about anything, it is time for a reset. Give yourself an at-home spa: relax in a tub with 2C of epsom salts to help you detox.
#10 Buying your favorite goodies in bulk.
…that’s not good for your waistline!
THE FIX: This is a case where you should ignore what they told you in Home Economics. If you must buy foods that you have a weakness for, pay more for smaller packages. There is no need to buy extra if fat-loss is your goal.
#11 Eating a “free lunch” of food samples while shopping.
It’s easy to fill up on random foods in little cups this time of year. It’s also easy to forget that those foods can add up to extra fat.
THE FIX: If the food samples are healthy, like meats and cheeses, go for it! Reality is: most of them are unhealthy. Be strong, keep both hands on your shopping cart as you walk by. Eating before you go shopping will also help your resolve.
#12 Using this logic to get rid of junk food after a party.
STOP! You don’t have to do that!
THE FIX: If your party guests didn’t eat or take home all the left-overs, it’s okay to do this: put the food in the trash. In this case, being a little wasteful is better than eating food you really don’t want –or need to eat.
#13 Wearing yoga pants.
It’s not that there is anything wrong with yoga pants– but are you wearing them more than your favorite jeans? Maybe you should pull your jeans out from the back of the closet.
THE FIX: The scale might be saying all sorts of things. You are up. You are down. But your favorite jeans are better than your BFF at telling you the truth. If they are getting too tight, it’s a good reminder to get on track. If they still fit like they are supposed to, you are doing great!
#14 Arguing with others about their kooky New Year’s diet.
When you sashay into the holiday looking great, people will corner you until you give them your “secret to weight loss.” …then they will tell you all about the crazy fad diet they are starting on the first.
THE FIX: The secret is that there is no secret. You know that eating the right foods (meats, eggs, vegetables, cheeses, and nuts) will naturally burn fat. The trick is not letting others distract you from your goals.
#15 Waiting for 2016.
Most people suspend their fat loss goals in the fall and wait until New Year’s to start again. That means you spend at least 25% of the year off-program!
THE FIX: Why waste another moment? Your next meal is another opportunity to get closer to your goals. How are you going to look and feel on New Year’s Eve? How about… ridiculously amazing!
Jan is a 14-year veteran in the fitness industry and has personally coached and trained thousands of people to live fit and healthy lives around the world. 100 pounds ago, she knew exactly what it is like to be obese, sick and unhappy, feeling like there was nothing that could be done about the excess fat she had gained. That is why she couldn’t be happier to be a part of the Personal Trainer Food team today. She has successfully and permanently lost the fat using the principles of this program.