Yes, you read that correctly – You are likely at your lowest weight of the year right now. New research shows that in the United States, the beginning of October marked people’s lowest weight of the year, with significant weight gain occurring from now through New Year’s. Once gained, this holiday weight took an average of 5 months to lose according to research published last month: Weight Gain Over the Holidays in Three Countries | New England Journal of Medicine via New York Times

Holiday weight gain is not surprising given the increased focus on food, disruptions to normal routines and decreased opportunities for time outdoors with less daylight and colder weather. When you have made weight loss or weight maintenance a priority, enjoying the holidays is important, but achieving your goals and maintaining your health is empowering.

So take heart, get moving and get focused, as Origin offers you some ways to push through the holidays and avoid being a statistic:

Ramp Up Your Exercise: Increase your exercise routine before the holidays to give yourself some leeway for holiday indulgences. Add in an extra cardio or strength training session each week. For extra motivation, join a class or work with a trainer, the extra accountability and energy will help keep you motivated.

Establish Your Winter Exercise Routine Now: In this case, familiarity breeds power, not contempt. Get yourself into the groove of a specific training routine now to make it easier to stick with your training when the holiday rush hits.

Know How to Exercise in the Cold: While many opportunities exist for indoor winter exercise, there is no need to forgo exercising outdoors. The typical rule of thumb when exercising outdoors in the cold is to dress about 20 degrees warmer than the temperature (10-15 degrees warmer for lighter exercise). Dressing in layers is key:

  • Base layer – Your wicking layer to pull perspiration away from your skin and keep your body dry. This layer can be short or long-sleeved depending on the temperature, but should be made of a moisture-wicking fabric.
  • Mid layer – This layer should be made to keep you warm (and you may be able to skip it altogether if the temperature is above freezing)
  • Outer layer – Allows moisture to escape while protecting you from the elements, ie blocking wind and repelling water. Jackets with zippers and vents allow for more airflow to prevent overheating.

Extremities typically become cold first, so don’t forget some lightweight running gloves and moisture-wicking socks. A lightweight hat or an ear-covering headband can also keep you warm without overheating. Remember, you are removing and putting on these layers as needed, so having pockets to stash your gear in is helpful.

Be Mindful When Eating: Paying attention to what you eat and when is one of your greatest assets. Maintain perspective through the onslaught of Halloween candy and baked goods. Sneaking a few Snickers bars may seem like nothing when compared to the entire bag sitting in your cabinet, but if your baseline is no Snickers, then yes, they matter.

Know What You are Putting in Your Body: Read nutrition labels whenever possible so you know whether that small, seemingly innocent, food portion is actually overloading you with sugar or calories.

Set an End Time and Stick to It: In studies, subjects who stopped eating late at night lost weight. Set a specific rule for yourself such as no eating after 8pm. Doing so gives you an endpoint and puts evenings on autopilot. Additionally, if you find yourself at a late night party where you just can’t pass up some homemade cookies or a cocktail, knowing that you are breaking your rule may lead to better portion control. In the end, calories consumed matter more than when they are consumed, so there’s no need to skip a light and healthy dinner if you come home late. However, the reality is that most people tend to eat empty and unnecessary calories late at night.

Drink Enough Water:  Many people confuse thirst with hunger which leads to unnecessary eating. Hydration is also key to proper body functioning. The typical rule of thumb is to drink enough water that your urine is clear or light yellow.

Whatever your strategy, now is the time to plan it out and stick to it. Be proactive, not reactive. Don’t wait until after the inevitable holiday weight gain to get started.

At Origin, our trainers provide extra support and motivation during this season. Origin’s trainers are experts in fitness and nutrition, including meal timing and supplementation. We live what we preach. Our training is based on proven and effective methods that make the most of your time. Private sessions and classes are optimized to increase fat burning for up to 24 hours afterward. We develop both the physical and mental toughness to help clients conquer all of their fitness challenges. Origin knows training has to be engaging, so we have varied offerings during the holiday season. In addition to our gold-standard training, we infuse sessions with boxing, martial arts, Pilates or tai chi (depending on each trainer’s area of expertise) to keep the interest level high. Leverage our knowledge and energy to push you toward positive action on your goals. Schedule a complimentary training consultation or sign up for classes today.