The average American gains 5 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. To gain 5 pounds of fat one must consume roughly 17,500 extra calories in just those few weeks. To put that into perspective, that would be equal to indulging in approximately 116 gingerbread cookies. Yikes! That’s a lot; especially considering how hard we have to work to burn off those extra calories! In order to enjoy the holidays and all the yummy food that goes along with them, without sabotaging all our hard work from the rest of the year, we need to plan ahead and stay active.

Read on for 5 Tips to get you through the remainder of 2015, without increasing your waistline!

1. Focus on friends and family instead of food. We all love to gather, and with every gathering comes delicious food. But remember, the holidays are a time to slow down and catch up with loved ones. Play games, volunteer and spend time outdoors enjoying this beautiful Minnesota winter together.
2. Eat before you eat. Don’t skip meals or snacks earlier in the day to “save” calories and carbs for the large holiday feast later on. If you skip meals, it’s harder to keep your blood glucose under control, and it slows down your metabolism or your body’s calorie burning speed.
3. Bring what you like. Don’t spend time worrying about what will be served and how unhealthy it may be. Instead, bring a dish to share that you know is low-carb or heart healthy so you can eat nutritiously with small indulgences.
4. Stay Active. One of the reasons we are challenged with weight gain and managing our diabetes and other health conditions during the holidays is we tend to overindulge AND come up with many excuses to not be physically active. Sure, the holidays are busy, but plan time in EACH day for exercise and don’t break your routine. Think small steps. This can be as simple as helping to clean up after a meal instead of lounging in the living room and watching the football game.
5. If you overindulge, get back on track. If the holiday treats get the best of you and you eat more than you planned, don’t think you’ve failed. Once you realize this, make a commitment to be healthier the rest of the day. Don’t throw in the towel and “start again on Monday.”

Stay on track and enjoy the holiday season!
Kayla Miller
Club GA Wellness Director