It’s that time of year again when holiday feasts and busy schedules can blow your diet and exercise routine. The average American can gain between 1-5 pounds of extra body fat during the holiday season, and keeping the weight off can be a challenge. With these simple tips you can keep your weight loss on track and learn how to keep it off all year long.
Finding an eating plan that you can stick with is key. Proper nutrition is the most important component when it comes to fat loss, comprising 80-90 percent of your success. Try not to think of your new eating program as a diet, but rather as a balanced meal plan that will be a permanent part of your fitness lifestyle. Many “diets” encourage a temporary solution to weight loss and often follow fads that may have no scientific basis. Don’t get sidetracked with the promises that fad diets advertise. Eating appropriate portion sizes will produce consistent, long-lasting results, and lean meats and vegetables will never do you wrong.
Once you’ve established your nutrition plan, turn your eye to your current fitness routine. Combining regular exercise with your eating plan will increase your weight-loss results and improve your overall health. Regular exercise will counteract those unwanted extra calories that can sneak into your day. The best exercise programs for losing fat will incorporate exercises that focus on resistance (strength) training, cardio, and flexibility. All three types of exercise work in combination to produce long-term improvements in all areas of your fitness. For the best results, plan to work in a 30-60 minute routine at least three to four days each week.
Having the right attitude and being consistent with your diet and exercise program makes all the difference when it comes to long-lasting improvement. Viewing these changes as a way of life that will be permanent will help you be committed to them. An occasional splurge at a holiday party can be a well-earned pleasure, and knowing that you’ll continue with your new, regular routine afterwards will keep you from feeling like you’ve cheated on your “diet”. Happy holidays!
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