In the first 3 parts of this series we looked at a few reasons that we do not commit to our health and fitness during the holidays. These were cost, poor eating habits and scheduling or time. The 4th reason is one that I had not given much thought to when we first started out but being a fitness professional and facility owner has really opened my eyes to this being an issue to many of my clients around the holidays.
Reason #4 is the impending resolution. The thought process behind this is straightforward and simple. As we so often do during the rest of the year, we identify an upcoming event or stretch of time that causes us to either put our fitness and exercise habits on hold or to stray from them entirely thinking that it’s “pointless”
Think about a time where you put off starting a diet because you knew there were parties that weekend or you were going to a game or concert. While these delays might make some sense on the surface, they don’t when you look a little deeper.
Putting off working out or eating healthy on a Monday because of a party on Sunday is quite an exercise in futility. The problem with this is not only do we not gain traction in our health or weight loss efforts but we often feel a time crunch or FOMO (“fear of missing out”). This leads to the days not just being “off” of the diet but almost as if they were a last opportunity for freedom and we tend to OVEReat in an attempt to fit everything in.
This behavior is common with an upcoming weekend event or vacation. When we apply this line of thinking to a whole time of year however this can set us up for failure not only in the short term but the long term as well.
Not paying attention to our fitness or nutrition habits will not only bring progress to a halt it may end up setting us back even further. There are of course the excess calories and weight gain but also the deviation from our exercise plan and progress. This could show up by never getting beyond week 4 of a 6-week program or still being stuck at say 2 miles of running when you should have progressed to a 5k!
The holiday season makes this time more challenging. Research has shown that the number of people you share a meal with exponentially increases your caloric intake. People usually minimally increase their caloric consumption per meal by around 20%. Now think of how many times you will be eating and drinking with others over the holidays, that can add up.
Just because the holidays make things more difficult, it does not mean that you should throw it all away. Weight loss may not be the easiest thing this time of year but setting new goals, such as strength, endurance or reps, or focusing on maintaining a certain weight can all be super productive and help you hit the ground running in the new year instead of starting way behind the line!
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