According to studies, most of these extra pounds tend to stay for the rest of the year. Over time, this can really add up, even at only 2 pounds a year.
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Next thing you know, you're 10 years older, and 20 pounds heavier with no idea how it "crept up" on you. It's not your age, it's not your metabolism and it's not your genetics. You can absolutely stop the cycle this year by following the four simple rules you are about to read.
Stay on schedule — You've got to do your best to stick to your training schedule now more than ever. Missing valuable calorie-burning time when you might be consuming more than usual will accelerate the winter weight gain. Adjust as you need to, if you can't train in the evening, get up as early as you need to and get it done in the morning. Make it happen when you can, and keep the metabolic "furnace" burning torching those fruit cake calories.
Don't party hungry — Going to a party hungry is the path to the dark side. Those fatty, salty, sugary food and drinks are a lot harder to resist than usual. Research is showing that these kinds of foods trigger the same pleasure centers in the brain as narcotics, making it difficult to stop eating them once you start. Eat before you go, and when you get to the party, load up at the veggie tray. The fiber will make you feel fuller, and bring you back to the light.
Avoid excess drinking — Alcohol calories don't get used for energy. In fact, most of those calories are going to go right to the fat stores. Social drinking is usually harmless, but party after party after party, and those alcoholic calories can get the best of you. Take it slow. Set a conservative drink limit, and stick to it. The next day, make sure you hit the gym, and get to the butter burning.
Focus on fun — Holiday parties are a great time to connect with friends and family. Enjoy their company, and don't think of it as an opportunity to "get your eat on." Focus instead on having a good, healthy time socializing. And plant fitness seeds today for a leaner and stronger 2012.
Chad Smith is a Hagerstown personal trainer, radio show personality, and author of www.hometeamfitnessblog.com. Find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hometeamfitness.