The busiest time of the year in any gym is January. It’s a pain in the butt for most  year-round members. All of the “resolutionaries” show up almost daily for the first couple of weeks, ostensibly because “this is the year” they are going to do it. Usually they are motivated by those famous holiday pounds.

The error is this: They think they are going to burn off those pounds, but they don’t. Once the body gets hold of some fat, it fights hard to keep it. The real trick to getting in shape next year is to avoid getting out of it this year.

The Holidays are a time of great temptation and relaxation. They are a challenge for anyone trying to mind the roll around the middle.

Consider that weight control and fitness are a matter of planning and will. If you plan your meal for each day and shop for each week in accordance with your goals, you are about five times as likely to reach those weight-management goals. When you are eating out or at someone else’s house, stick to your nutritional plan. Get tough and use your willpower. Each time you succeed in being willful, in sticking to the plan, you increase your chances of doing it again.

I’ve outlined the principles of good nutrition in other posts. Imagine the willpower it would take to stick with these through the holidays. And then imagine how good you’d feel about yourself having done it.

Remember that diet is about 85 percent of weight loss. There’s just no way to train your way through a fast-food nutrition plan and expect good results. If you’re carrying around a few extra pounds, you undoubtedly earned them by eating.

If you are not able to control your eating, do these three things to help control the damage this season:

  1. Increase your activity. Even if it means just walking a little each day.
  2. Drink more water. Try to double the amount of water you normally drink to help stay full. Drinking water before each meal has been shown to be one of the most effective weight-control measures available.
  3. Remember that most holiday treats pack a real punch when it comes to calories. Make a real effort to minimize the snacks.

Gaining weight over the holidays just adds to your stress for next year. Start your new training plan NOW and stay strong over the holidays. A month of good hard training now will really mean a lot when bikini season comes (as if anyone in Wyoming actually wears bikinis).

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