Guru Columns

Erin Mellinger:
Find Accountability This Holiday Season

November 1, 2017

It’s hard to believe that the time for eating turkey, pumpkin pie and Christmas cookies is already approaching.

During the holiday season, we all eat more and exercise less than we would like to. Then at New Year’s resolution time, we are starting our weight loss journey a few pounds heavier than we otherwise would have. Only now making that goal weight feels a little further from our reach.

This year, try not to let that happen. Before the craziness begins, set realistic goals, make a game plan and find some accountability.

In my opinion, a goal of gaining only a pound or two is very realistic and a good goal to shoot for. You need to be real with yourself, indulge a little, and have room to enjoy the holidays without beating yourself up too bad.

But be careful with a goal like this! Gaining one or two pounds is not hard to do, especially when you do it from Christmas cookies and cheese trays. So this doesn’t mean indulge and don’t be conscious of your weight. It simply means indulge a bit while still staying in control.

You should also set a goal number of minutes to exercise every week. In normal circumstances, we should all be getting 250 minutes per week if we are trying to lose weight. But perhaps between Christmas and New Year’s, you can realistically set a goal of 200 minutes. Get more minutes in on those days you don’t have a full schedule. Just do a quick 10- or 15-minute workout on the days you have shopping and parties to attend.

On days when you are going to a Christmas party, do a hard 15-minute workout right from your living room. Then drink some water and eat some raw veggies. This will help you feel good and it will be easier to stay in control around all the tempting foods. Not to mention that you’ll give yourself an extra calorie burn and metabolism boost before you indulge. But again, this doesn’t mean eat without being mindful.

And then find your accountability through the entire season. Find a friend or co-worker who is willing to commit to 200 minutes of exercise per week during the holidays as well. Hold yourself accountable to writing down your activity and turning it in to each other at the end of each week. You can even reward yourself with your own special Christmas present for sticking to your goal!

Try not to stress too much this holiday season and try not to be too mental over all the temptation surrounding you. When you’re not at parties, make good and disciplined nutrition choices. And get that physical activity in so you can burn calories and keep your metabolism high.

The Christmas season can be so joyful for many of us and so can starting your New Year’s resolutions in control and in shape! Even though we’ll be surrounded by delicious food and drinks, remember that nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.

WATCH Erin Mellinger’s 90-Second Guru Video

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.