Hey everybody, Kris Stokes from Custom Fitness – your wellness and nutrition coaches in Amarillo. Today we’re talking about three things that could increase your waistline over the holiday season. If you have any questions about today’s blog, then please give us a call at (806)-322-3188

The holidays are known for being that time that people just give in to everything. They just go with crunches and start doing things that they normally wouldn’t do. Whether that’s eating a ton of junk food or going to party after party after party, staying up late, or skipping workouts. By January everybody’s in panic because they can’t figure out why they aren’t being able to maintain during those months when they’ve worked so hard throughout the rest of the year.

Well, the thing is that the human body isn’t made to coast. It’s not meant to build and build and build and then just stay that way no matter what we do to it, so it breaks itself down and rebuilds itself on a regular basis.

There’s usually three big things or areas that come into conversation as I’m doing nutrition coaching and training during the holiday. I wanted to bring those to your attention so that maybe by hearing this now, you could prevent some of that because it does come into a lot of people’s lives.

The first one is the holidays are known for baking. Everybody starts baking sweets and treats and bringing them to everybody’s office because you can’t have them at your house. If you keep them at your house then you’ll eat them. So, you take them to everyone else in a gift of kindness and affection and as you do that other people grumble because now they have them at their house.

Here’s the problem that we run into though: as we’re baking them, the bakers or the people assisting the bakers, tend to start tasting things. Now, I have a great friend who has actually been training with me for years and years and one of her favorite things to do at Christmas is to make treats for people and one of the favorite things that she makes is caramels. They are absolutely delightful, but the problem is that each year, up until a few years ago when she finally figured out what she was doing, she would roll out the caramels and cut off the one at the end that was kind of ugly, if you will, that she wasn’t willing to give to somebody and she’d eat it.

She did that with every tray that she made an so that was a lot of sugar going in and she would typically gain weight around the holidays due to just that. Over the last few years she figured out that was happening, she stopped doing that, she stopped gaining weight. If you’re baking this holiday season, try not to be tasting everything all the time. Obviously I’m one of those people that if I cook something I’ve got to taste it a little bit to make sure that somebody else isn’t getting something awful, but if you’re baking 15 dozen cookies, at a certain point you have to stop eating them.

So, that’s step number one. Really watching out about what you’re tasting. Making sure that you’re not just taking the extremes on that and that even goes for normal everyday situations. I have a lot of moms who come in and tell me, “Well, my child didn’t finish this on their plate so I just ate the leftovers.” Well, that’s great except you probably ate more than what you needed. So, just watching out on your intake of calories, your intake of food, so that doesn’t sabotage you later.

Step two or tip two, is food banking. If you haven’t seen our post on this, go back and watch it because food banking is a huge issue. Food banking, just to give you a brief overview here is when you know that you’re going out to dinner or out to a nice meal or to a party and you don’t want to not be able to eat what you want so you skip lunch in order to be able to have more calories that you can eat then. That’s great, but it’s again not really how the body works. In our minds things work that way, right. On paper, we can be, yes this makes sense, but to out bodies, physiologically, that does not make sense.

So, as we go into that what we’ve done is we’ve actually created a larger need for calories at that point. We haven’t eaten lunch, we’ve supposedly saved those calories, but the problem is that then we go in and we eat three to four times as much as what we would have otherwise. Where we would have enjoyed that dessert, we might eat the whole thing or three or four times that and we tend to take in more calories that way. Food banking becomes this thing that we think in our minds is going to work, but physically typically doesn’t.

If you’re doing intermittent fasting, that’s a whole different deal, but also needs to be done differently. Just skipping your lunch in order to save calories for dinner is not the same thing and typically will get you in more harm than if you had eaten lunch and eaten dinner. Now, here’s my little tip on that. If you’re going to a holiday party or an event of some sort or a big dinner that you’re afraid that you’re going to overdue it on, before you go eat a bowl of vegetables. Whether that’s a salad or just some other vegetables. Get that fiber in there to help fill you up, then that way when you get there you’ll be able to taste everything, you’ll be able to enjoy it, savor it, but you won’t gorge yourself on it if that makes sense. You’re body will just be a little bit more full before you get there which is always good.

Tip number three is quit skipping your workouts because during the holidays we tend to do all these things. We taste our baking, we go out to parties, we get less sleep and then we think, oh, I’m too tired or just don’t feel good, I’m not going to workout today. Wouldn’t be a problem if it’s just one workout, but whenever it adds up over time and you’re like, “Man, I haven’t worked out in two weeks because I’ve been busy doing all of these other things.” Buying presents, wrapping presents, getting to everybody’s places and things and events going on.

I don’t care if your workout is five minutes, if it’s 15 minutes, whatever it may be. It may be a full on workout in a gym, that’s great. Whatever you can fit in, just make sure to fit something in or you will see that waistline beginning to go up over the holidays. Not hitting your workouts means that your increasing the amount of calories that you’re taking in and you’re decreasing the amount of calories that you’re burning. Yes, shopping is still exercise. Housework, cleaning is still exercise. Prepping for a party, all those things, but not the same as a workout, they’re different.

We’ve got daily activity and then we’ve got workouts and we need to make sure that we’re getting an extra few workouts in each week so that we can burn those extra calories. That does not mean that you need to spend three hours at the gym. For me, if I get in 15 minutes in the morning, that’s great. I might get in another 30 in the afternoon and it just depends on what the day is as to what we’re doing. Sometimes I may get in a full 45 minute workout at one spurt and then I may go for a walk later or something. Obviously I try to stay active throughout the day, but I do try to throw in some short burst workouts so that I know that I’m burning off extra calories, getting what I need to be able to avoid that waistline increase, but more over for me, it’s about health.

Being able to maintain my health, my sanity and my energy so that I can feel good during the day, sleep good at night and be able to play with my kids. So, I hope those three tips help you out. Make sure these holidays that you’re staying away from those things. The tasting, the food banking and skipping exercise and start to find ways that you can get around those. Planning ahead is the best thing you can do, so if you start thinking now on how you can plan ahead for that you will be golden. January will come and you won’t be in panic mode.

If you need some help being able to establish an efficient and effective workout, nutrition coaching, whatever it may be, feel free to give us a call, 806-322-3188. We can help you with nutrition, exercise or both!

We can get you a plan in action and walk you through things, show you how to get everything done or we can work one on one on a regular basis. We’ve got lots of different options. Hope you have a great day.