*This is a guest blog by Elizabeth McQuitty.
Elizabeth McQuitty is from Dallas and currently lives in Southern California. Her undergraduate degree is in Kinesiology from Texas A&M. She is a personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness. (I highly recommend her. She
tortured trained me 🙂 Elizabeth knows how to create a workout plan to inspire you, keep you healthy, and on track towards your fitness goals.)
Elizabeth is also graduating from Fuller Theological Seminary in June 2013 with a Master of Divinity.
Holiday Health Tips:
You might be feeling like staving off unwanted weight gain is a lost cause because between the Halloween candy and the Thanksgiving 4500, you have already pulled out your fat jeans for the season. You have concluded that you might as well let loose and be happy because come January 1, the elliptical at the gym is going to slap you in the not-so-jolly-anymore-gut when you begin your New Year’s resolution to be slim enough to shelve your fat jeans until the next holiday season.
But what if you could avoid such unpleasantries? The reality: Christmas is four weeks away and a lot more damage can be done. So why not do what you can to stay in the jeans you actually like and enjoy the season as it comes? Here are a few things you can do:
1. Be strategic. Magical holiday foods served at a plethora of the season’s parties become our temptress. Especially the cookies! Oh, those scrumptious, devilish little cookies! Before you go to a party, make sure to eat a snack so that you are less likely to eat everything in sight when you get there.
Some snack ideas pre-party: shoot for about 200 calories, and choose foods that have a high volume for the fewest calories such as carrots, tomatoes, celery dipped in hummus, 1/2 serving of nuts with a piece of fruit, apple with 1tbsp of peanut butter, 100 calorie bag of popcorn, protein bar.
Also, do not hang out by the food table at the party. If you do, you will graze, and grazing will force me to have to coin the term “the Holiday Party 4500.” Don’t make me do that.
2. Stay active. Even if you can’t make it to the gym, know that shopping, cleaning, cooking, and a host of other holiday related tasks actually burn calories. Think of those calories when you sit down to eat. Just like a work out, you don’t want to off set your hard work by over consuming at mealtime. So don’t let all of those hard burned calories from vacuuming and running up and down the aisles at target go to waist (pun intended) either. If this doesn’t apply to you because you aren’t active in the first place, see number three.
3. Get active. Moving is a good thing! Try parking in the far lot at the mall, taking the stairs rather than the elevator, doing lunges in your living room during commercial breaks, or taking a walk on your lunch break at work. Be creative in finding ways to get active. Your waistline will thank you later.
4. Get in the mental game. Studies show that most people only gain about 1 pound during the holidays, as opposed to the 7-10 pounds we have been hearing in years past. Therefore, you have no excuse to gain a ton of weight during the holidays because you think, “that’s just what people do.” No. In fact, people don’t do that, and neither should you.
5. Enjoy yourself. The holidays are often stressful and induce sleepless nights. This kind of stress also promotes weight gain. If you let yourself enjoy the food (in moderation), stay active, and do your best to get enough sleep and enjoy the people you are (theoretically) excited to be with this Christmas season, that elliptical might not be so evil come 2013 after all.
 I once heard that Americans consume an average of 4500 calories on Thanksgiving Day. That’s right, 4500. I didn’t bother to fact check that, but let’s be honest, we all know most of us over eat on Thanksgiving to some degree.