Here come those nasty holidays advice columns, again. Halloween ends, and the decorations for Thanksgiving come out in stores and homes. Everyone knows that that portends – Christmas decorations, gift shopping and those ubiquitous and invasive, and exhausting, parties are right around the corner.
Every newspaper, magazine and TV news or talk show will be inundating you with the advice of some diet or exercise guru over the next month or two. So why wouldn’t we take this opportunity to share some pearls and nuggets given the space available?
But, then again, you’ve heard it all already, so what could we offer that you haven’t heard before?
Let’s try this: The only 5 pieces of fitness information you definitely need to keep in mind during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s feast-a-thon.
Train for gain. Thanksgiving weekend has passed, the Boulevard Bolt is over and there’s still 26 days before Christmas weekend begins. Time to whip yourself into shape. Yes, think of these events as, well, athletic ones, competitions between you and Newtonian thermodynamics. You know, the one about ‘for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction’. If you know you’re going to be eating more and moving less, try moving more and eating less between these two marathons.
Find ways to incorporate more movement (or at least the same if you’ve been staying active) and eating slightly less at other times to maintain some balance in your life. Most Americans gain weight during this period because they sit around and eat more. Family and friends gather to celebrate in ways that reinforce sedentary gluttony. Plan for it and against it.
Forgive yourself the luxury of a tasty sweet and keep in mind that the first cookie tastes every bit as good as the fourth, so enjoy it. Most of us are exposed to less healthy foods than we ordinarily eat during this period. Less healthy does not equate to taboo, however. A little of each special treat goes a long way to keep you from guilt and lack of fun.
Eat a small, healthy meal that includes a moderately-fat protein food included a couple of hours before you attend a gluttonous party. Protein and fat act like time release capsules when it comes to hunger. You’d be better off with 2% or even whole-fat yogurt and nuts than low- or no-fat yogurt so as to modulate your desire to over-consume at the eat-a-thon. It’ll help you self-regulate intake.
Give thanks and express gratitude to friends and family for being who they are and not for what they give you. After all, that’s what this time of year is all about. Sharing and caring, not taking and raking it in.
And while you’re at it, take this time to remember that many fellow Americans, and world citizens, do not have the means or luxury to experience the holidays as we the more fortunate do. Going back to Newtonian thermodynamics, for every good action there’s an equal and opposite good reaction. It’ll make the world a better place, for others as well as for yourself.