Don’t Set Yourself Up For Failure This Holiday Season



                  Don’t let the ho, ho, ho, make you go OH, NO, NO, NO January 1st.

As we fast approach the holiday season, which usually is a time thought of as when snow makes its first appearance, shopping sales start with Black Friday, and decorations bear with gleaming lights.  However, more than often, it is a time for gathering with friends and family to share in the holiday experience. 

As we all know, 9 times out of 10, holidays turn into a bounty of food, from family tradition cookies, pies, and libations.  Granted, as we attend these gatherings, we say, oh that we will not eat that much and be “good”, but after filling our plate a time or two, the belt loop gets undone, the buttons to our pants get undone, and “comfy pants” are adorn.  Sometimes, the next day we are experiencing flu like symptoms, not realizing we have a food hangover from all the rich food you have indulged in.  At this point, you state to yourself that “once the New Year is here, I will go on a diet”.  But, will you?

That is a question that should have a true answer to it.  Will you do something about losing this weight you have put on?  Will it be today that you start?  Will it be tomorrow?  Will it be next week after the football game?  Will you be making excuses or doing something about it.

Why not take the steps now to help fight that unwanted weight, and then when the New Year arrives, make your New Year’s resolution to be adherence rather than contemplation.

Most weight put on during the holidays is a result of overeating, and lack of exercise.  Meaning, caloric intake versus caloric expenditure.  In order to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, you need to reduce and/or burn approximately 500 calories a day. That adds up to 3,500 calories a week.  And you know what, that is a lot of work!!  For example, the following are some typical holiday treats:

*220 calories for a Sugar Cookie

*130 calories for a ½ cup of Low fat eggnog

*490 calories for a piece of Pecan Pie (1/8)

*230 calories for a piece of Pumpkin Pie (1/10); And the list goes on.

In order to contradict the indulgence of a sugar cookie, you would have to walk on a treadmill for 60 minutes at 3.1 miles per hour, or work-out on an elliptical trainer for 23 minutes. (Using the example of a person weighing 150 pounds).  As the caloric amount increases, the harder or longer you have to work at it.

So, why don’t you make a strategy to avoid over-eating this holiday season.   Eat a small meal before going to your holiday gathering.  You will have something in your stomach and this will be a trigger to your brain that you are not hungry.  Take a small plate rather than a big plate to hold food items.  Do not stand at the table where the food is located as you will be setting yourself up to easily pick.  And for the family that makes you feel guilty because you are not eating, politely ask for a take home container so you don’t hurt their feelings. 

In closing, be prepared, have a strategy, and be mindful of your actions.

Be well, stay active, and HAVE FUN – Grace

(Caloric and portion size information was provided by

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