What Are Your Fitness Plans For The Holidays?

eyeballmuffins_2132503960Do you have a plan for the holidays? With Halloween upon us, the holiday season has begun! For a lot of people this is the most damaging time of year for their fitness and their waist line. It’s a time filled with temptations of all kinds of special holiday treats we don’t see the rest of the year. It’s really easy to use this as an excuse or tell yourself you deserve it. And maybe that’s what you’ll choose. However, if you’d like to prevent weight gain over the holidays or even lose weight, read on.

Deciding that you’re not going to let the holidays destroy all your hard work from the rest of the year (or put you even further in the red) is a good start. But you need a plan. A few years ago I stumbled onto a plan by accident.

The plan that worked for me was P90X. The president of BeachBody (the company that created P90X, Insanity, 21 Day Fix, etc.) was doing a P90X challenge group. I was going to start a round of P90X after the New Year, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense to join the challenge and start in early November. This turned out to be a great decision. I actually ended up losing weight over the holidays!

While P90X itself is not necessary for your plan to work it does have all the elements you need...

  • A workout schedule
  • Specific workouts for each scheduled workout day
  • Nutrition guide or meal plan
  • Support and accountability

There are other programs out there, and certainly other Beachbody programs, that offer all the components, but I’m going to use P90X as my example because it’s one I know and love.

P90X has a workout schedule with 90 days of workouts laid out for you. There’s no guess work. The only debate happens before you begin the program when you decide whether to do the Lean, Classic or Doubles version. Once you decide, just follow the schedule for the version you’ve chosen.

Not only does the program have specific workouts for each day, but the workouts are excellent. There’s enough variety to help keep you from getting bored, and enough repetition that you get a chance to master the workouts and see progress from one week to the next. Not having to choose your workout each day not only makes it easier to stick to the program, but it helps you get better results because you don’t have the opportunity to pick and easy workout. When you do the workout on the schedule, your workout for the day is going to challenge you and it’s going to count.

It’s hard to keep track and make good choices during the holidays. That’s why a plan is even more critical now than the rest of the year. P90X comes with a comprehensive meal plan with ways to customize it for your needs. There’s a simple formula to calculate your calorie intake level. Then they offer different ways to follow the plan.  You can have specific meals and  follow the recipes they provide or build your own meals based on the meal plan frame work. I usually follow a version called “Portion Approach”. That way I can construct meals out of foods I like as long as they fit into the guidelines. A nutrition guide with structure and enough flexibility for you to fit it into your life makes something you can stick with.

Another thing about the food is this… after many Thanksgivings and Christmases, we’ve seen all this food before. So, the question you have to ask is… is it really that exciting? Really? I know. It’s tasty. You enjoy it. The instant gratification is satisfying, but is it more important than your goals? It’s not about deprivation, but maybe this year you get a little more selective. Maybe you have just a little of your absolute favorites and forget the other stuff. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about making the right choices most of the time.

One great benefit to doing a program like P90X comes from how well known it is. When people hear you’re doing P90X they say things like “I guess you won’t be drinking today” or “I’m sure you aren’t interested in dessert”. Before you know it you’ve got a house full of  people keeping you accountable! It might sound like it would be annoying, but in my experience it was a relief. It took all the pressure off of me to use my will power and I could relax and enjoy being with my family.

This relates to the support and accountability as well. While people who have heard of the program you’re doing may be a good source of support, Beachbody has support built into their products. Their site has message boards where it’s easy to make friends and have discussions with other people on their fitness journeys. When you sign up on the site you are assigned a coach whose job it is to help you succeed. Not to mention all the Facebook groups coaches host for gathering people together to help and support each other. These groups are a great source of motivation and accountability.

Last but not least, what you bring to the program is the final piece of the puzzle. Get your mindset right. Make the decision that you’re going to do this. Decide to commit to your fitness program, to your goals and to yourself. Pick a program that appeals to you and that’s designed to help you reach your specific goals. If you need help choosing a program, get in touch with me and I can help you pick the one that’s right for you.

Here’s to the start of a great holiday season!


photo credit: megpi via photopin cc

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