Pilates-wineMost people put on 1-2 pounds over the holidays – that they never lose.

So, it’s not the weight gain that is the problem, it’s the lack of weight loss. Over 5 years, the additive holiday weight gain is 10 pounds – which looks remarkably like the Muffin Top/middle-age spread phenomenon.

The key? Here are some tips to help:

1. Keep Your Stress Down.

Harmful holiday stress can do many things. It causes inflammation, generates a hormone cascade that hinders our ability to metabolize fat, and causes you to make food decisions you wouldn’t normally make.
No one will remember if you were 15 minutes late to the party, didn’t get the holiday cards out, or forgot the cranberries at Thanksgiving dinner.
Swap it all for a deep breath, a smile, and a good laugh (don’t we have our share of laughs in Pilates!) – isn’t that what you  really want people to remember about you, anyhow?

2. Maintain Your Dietary Restrictions.
If you are gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, or adhere to any of the other numerous dietary restrictions that are common in today’s society, the holidays are not a time to give them up. If your body is intolerant, you’ll be adding fuel to the fire by indulging. Instead? Find an awesome dietary-compliant treat to bring. Your body – and the other guests – will thank you.

3. Use Caloric Averaging.
The conventional wisdom that one bad meal isn’t the end of the world is totally true. Our body isn’t like a cash register that cashes out at the end of every shift. Instead, our physiology is well-equipped to handle periods of overeating, as long as it’s balanced out by undereating. 

4. Stay Active.
The old adage in the fitness world is that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet, but activity levels do matter. Studies show that those who become or stay active during the holidays are less likely to gain that one to two pounds to start with. Keep doing your Pilates, walking, hiking, whatever it is that brings you joy.

By following these tips, you’ll burn calories, reduce stress, and improve brain function – the trifecta of wellness for a healthy and happy holiday season.

Happy Thangsgiving and Blessed Holidays!