Thanksgiving and Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds.
Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.
So what is one to do?
Staying on track with your fitness and nutritional program while traveling during the holiday season can seem difficult to some; but it does not have to. Whether you’re at home for the holidays or traveling to see your friends or family, it can be easy to stay in shape with simple pre traveling preparation and a plan.
Maintaining your workout routine and diet will not only give you that extra energy to partake in all the activities that may be on your agenda, but it will also help you resist overindulging at holiday meals, and will keep you from backsliding away from your fitness and health goals.
Here are a few helpful tips for keeping fit during your holiday travels:
If staying at a hotel, choose a hotel that has a fitness center.
If you have a gym membership to a national chain, check to see if there is a local gym at your holiday destination
Consider purchasing a fitness DVD for your trip. If you are normally a weight room junkie, trying something new can really help you make great gains.
When packing, consider bringing resistance tubing so you can perform your favorite strength-training exercises when not at the gym.
Upon waking, go for a nice walk or run. Starting the day exercising will burn calories, burn fat and help you set the tone for the rest of the day. Other tips: do some stairs while site seeing.
If traveling by car, plan for frequent stops to walk and stretch. Not only will this help you burn calories, but it will also help you stay more awake when driving and help you feel better once you reach your destination.
Hydrate before all holiday snacking and meals. Studies show that by staying properly hydrated you will eat and snack less. Dehydration mimics hunger and studies also show that people who are dehydrated believe they are hungry and eat unnecessarily.
Pack healthy snacks such as low-fat protein items, and fruit for your trip, and avoid airport food at all costs. This will not only save you calories, but money as well.
Eat before heading out. If you are going out to celebrate the holidays it is a good idea to eat something healthy prior to heading out. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat unhealthy snacks, or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten.
Avoid skipping meals. Studies show that those who skip meals actually eat more bad food, overeat and actually gain weight. Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to overeating or eating unhealthy foods.
Eat slowly during holiday dinners. This will not only reduce your chances of feeling a “food coma”, but it will also help keep you from overeating, and putting on extra holiday pounds.
Eating a high protein, low glycemic carb meal before going to a holiday party. This will help increase your satiety levels (feeling of fullness), and reduce your temptation to eat empty calories and high fat snacks.
Enjoy small portions of high-calorie and high-fat holiday fare, if you can not control your urge to eat.
Always east some protein with your carbohydrate rich snacks. This will lower the glycemic index and load of the meal, and reduce the impact the meal will have on your blood sugar levels. It will also increase your satiety levels.
Limit alcoholic beverages over the holidays and separate drinks with glasses of water.
The Bottom Line
You can still enjoy the holidays without wrecking your diet and your workout routine. It just stakes a little forethought, and sometimes some creativity and control. So have a plan, and you can not only enjoy your holidays, but you can look good while doing so too!
About the Author Jeff Behar
Jeff Behar, MS, MBA, is a well-known author, champion natural bodybuilder, and a recognized health, fitness and nutrition expert with over 30 years of experience in the health, fitness, disease prevention, nutrition, and anti-aging fields. As a recognized health, fitness and nutrition expert, Jeff Behar has been featured on several radio shows, TV, and in several popular bodybuilding publications such as Flex, Ironman and in several highly regarded peer reviewed scientific journals. Jeff Behar is also the CEO and founder www.MuscleMagFitness.com and www.MyBesthealthPortal.com, a staff writer at www.musclemagsport.com and the current Medical Commentator on Exercise for the The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M), the world's largest medical anti-aging organization comprised of 26,000-plus member physicians, health practitioners, scientists, governmental officials, and members of the general public, representing over 120 nations.
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