Research shows the average person will gain one pound of fat over the holidays (National Institute of Health).
While a measly little pound may not sound like much, the sad truth is most of us will never lose that pound. Fast forward many holidays later and we could potentially have many "one pounds" hanging over our belts.
How do you stop this from happening? Simple. Stop eating, abstain from any holiday celebrations and perform 20 push-ups for every impure food thought that enters your mind from now until January. Just joking (kinda).
I still want you to enjoy the holidays and savour the shortbread, so I put together a few tips to help you burn that pound, and potentially burn a few from previous Christmas seasons too.
If you want to eat, you've got to do something to burn the fuel so you don't gain that one pound (and moving from one buffet line to the other doesn't count). Schedule exercise in your calendar like any other appointment (I know, you've read this before. Well, guess what? You keep reading it because it works.)
Make a workout date with a friend, trainer or class. This will hold you accountable to more than yourself. Now, with that said, since time is always an issue this time of year, make your workouts short and sweet (so you'll do them) but intense (so you get the best bang for your calorie burn).
I also find some people use exercise as an excuse to eat more. If you've ever said, "I worked out today, so I think I deserve another (insert any high-fat, highsugar food or drink here)." This is a dangerous way of thinking.
First off, yes, working out does burn the fuel, but it doesn't burn it until the reservoirs are empty. Second, it takes a lot of working out to burn holiday treats. If you caught my last column, you saw that one eggnog latte would have you walking over five miles to burn off.
To put that further into perspective, if you live in Tsawwassen you'd have to walk to Ladner to burn it off. Add a cranberry bliss bar and you'll have to walk the long way to Ladner.
DON'T WAIT UNTIL AFTER CHRISTMAS
The focus on weight loss and fitness really heats up the last week of December. While I applaud everyone for making resolutions and goals focused on their health, I find it can also be used as way to indulge more over the season.
The "Oh, I'll start after the new year" attitude can lead to eating more and moving less. Take the intuitive right now - to heck with later.
"He who fails to plan, plans to fail."
I am big believer in planning, and it is crucial when trying to eat healthy, lose weight and for scheduling workouts. For instance, if you know you will be running around one day with that crazed, glazed holiday look in your eyes, plan ahead and pack some healthy snacks with you and a big bottle of water.
This will save you from buying that maple nut scone at Starbuck's when you stop by for your afternoon shot of espresso. (Side note: that small and innocent looking maple nut scone with icing has 490 calories and 22 grams of fat - and nine of them are saturated.)
Plan ahead as well with weekly walks at lunchtime with your co-workers and after dinner walks with the family.
I also recommend planning your weekly meals in advance every Sunday. Write out the menu on the calendar, make sure you have all the ingredients on hand and prep as much as you can. Plan to succeed and you will.
CHOOSE TO LOSE
Weight Loss Challenge - Couple's Edition launches Jan. 8. This is a challenge and a weight loss program all rolled into one. There's a two for one early bird registration until Dec. 31. More information at www. fitnesswithpj.com.
P.J. Wren is a local personal trainer and writer in the Delta area. She can be reached at email@example.com.