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Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain: A New Way of Thinking

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Typically it's right about this time of the year that folks are winding down with the focus on closing out all commitments, work and duties that need to be completed at year's end. It's also a time when all of the holidays become prominent in the focus. What do we do for the holidays? Where will we go? Who is going to host the holiday parties this year? Will we travel or have everyone here this year? And the big questions: What will we cook? What is the menu?

Over the years, from what I've seen, folks at this time of year can have tendency to "throw in the towel" so to speak, on their health and wellness. If this has been the case for most of the year up to this point, then this really takes on momentum even more so as the year winds down to a close. There is a "What's the point? I've already blown it," kind of outlook that tends to spin people out of control through the holidays, on through to about the second week of January.

Then of course, the "January push" where fitness clubs are packed with bright-eyed potential members and Amazon.com is overwhelmed with massive amounts of orders for every fitness, nutrition and wellness book, and products that have the spotlight. This all goes until roughly the third into the fourth week of January. Then the gas runs out. You can get the machines you want at the gym again (because the January push crowd has faded and is back on the couch), and the wellness books drop off the New York Times best-seller list.

Sound familiar? Do you know anyone in your life that is part of this syndrome that seems to take place on some level year in and year out?

I propose a new syndrome, a new outlook, a new paradigm -- a shift in the momentum of this phenomenon. Starting now here in November, let's embrace that "January push" feeling and let this take momentum through the remainder of this year. And let's continue to maintain this momentum. This rhythm on some level will work in your life throughout the holidays and on into 2014 and beyond. What about this concept? Instead of the "What's the point? I've already blown it," attitude ramping up here, what about a shift in this thinking? Maybe, just maybe, it can work.

Having said this, let me make it very clear that whether it be the holidays or any point throughout the course of the year, no one is on track all of the time. So let me take the pressure off of you right now. On the holidays, go ahead and "go off the rails" and eat freely! Because the truth is we are wired biologically to have a big meal every once in a while. Research confirms this -- so do it. You have full permission! And you actually will have more control over your weight if you allow yourself to periodically do this.

However, as you get off track for a meal or maybe a day -- or a few days -- just simply get back on track. Yep, it can be that simple. I've seen many folks throughout my career, and my life, let just a little off-track momentum run the show and discourage an effort towards making good choices and living an overall healthy lifestyle. If you take big deep breath, step back and think about what I'm saying here. You can make this shift. It's simply a new way of thinking about the reality of what it takes to live a fit, healthy lifestyle.

Remember, I said no one is on track all of the time, not even the people that you think are on track all the time. All you need to do is be on track most of the time, and minimize both the amount and the intensity of those moments those days where you go "off the rails" and overdo it. Take a close look at this, as I'm giving you a new way of thinking here. To be a fit version of yourself just may take a lot less effort than you think.

So let's begin now. Look up and become enlightened and inspired to close out this year in a strong way, and not having to play even more catch-up for this next year. Along with what I've shared with you so far, here are a few tips that you can put to work during the holidays to stay clear of traps and situations and avoid the syndrome of holiday weight gain:

-- Don't wear elastic pants, especially to holiday parties. Elastic pants can disguise fullness and give you subconscious permission to over indulge.

-- Limit or avoid alcohol. Be conscious of the facts that alcohol lowers inhibitions, lowers metabolic rate and lowers blood sugar, which all combine to encourage excess consumption. There is a reason the snack tray looks even better when you're buzzed. If you do have a drink, have two glasses of water for every one cocktail.

-- Eat before you go to parties, so that you're not tempted to over consume. And be sure not to skip any meals during the holidays.

-- Make the parties about connecting socially with family, friends or business associates and not about how much you can eat. Keep your outlook on comradeship and rekindling friendships, and not about gorging yourself.

-- If it's "potluck" then bring a healthy choice that you can eat.

-- Eat sitting down and eat slowly.

-- Chew gum at a given party as to keep from "grazing" at the food table.

-- Ultimately place yourself far away from the food table at the party.

-- Make a deal with yourself. I will not over consume foods that don't meet my standards during this time, even though it can all be tempting. And always keep these standard highs for the "fuel" that you put into your body, regardless of the time of year. Make a pact with someone you know at the party and keep an eye on each other.

-- Take one day, and one holiday event at a time. If you do happen to overdo it, remember what I said above about not being on track all of the time and not letting poor choices take on momentum. Simply get back on track the next meal or the next day. No big deal. No harm done.

-- Don't miss workouts during the holidays. In fact, make it a point to schedule even more workouts and up the intensity of your exercise during this time.

-- Work out on the holidays. Make this part of your celebration. Encourage your family and friends to do this as well.

-- Get your eight to nine hours of restful sleep per night throughout the holidays, as sleep deprivation fools and actually wires your body into thinking you're hungry, especially for sugars and refined carbohydrates. And yes, take that nap on the holiday!

-- Last but not least, go to Pearsports.com and order Pear Mobile today. Then download the "RR" Robert Reames workouts and plans on Pear Sports. Go to Veep.com and get your weight under control for good. Folks it's time to experience the new paradigm! Enjoy the holidays, everybody!

-- RR

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