Time to think healthy is before holidays, not New Year’s Day

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Think the holidays are here to ruin your health? Think again.

It’s holiday season, and that means you will soon be thinking and talking about New Year’s resolutions. We already have Christmas decorations in the stores, and soon will come the bombardment of holiday themed marketing.

Advertisements for holiday parties, holiday cooking and holiday snacks. With advertisements in your face in stores, as well as every device you own, it’s impossible to not feel overwhelmed. Then as Christmas time approaches everyone will be thinking about resolutions. You will hear things like “New Year New You,” “This year will be the year I lose the weight,” “Starting in January I’m finally going to get in shape.”

People think they must wait to the beginning of the new year to start living a healthy life. We have been conditioned to thinking that we consume all this horrible food during the holidays. This gives us the excuse to let yourself go because “Don’t worry, I’ll really get after it in January.” But evidence and the reality are you are just digging yourself a hole, so let’s look at two scenarios.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for New Year's resolutions is said to be about 80%, and most give up by mid-February. The average American gains five pounds of weight during the holidays, so if this is true, then why would you put yourself through the hassle of gaining weight only with the resolution to lose it come January? That’s like running a race but making yourself start 50 feet behind the other competitors. This makes no sense, and it is a yearly battle I must fight with clients working in the health and wellness industry. So here are the hard facts:

As of Nov. 19, there are 42 days until January. Assuming you eat three meals a day that means you will consume 126 meals between now and the New Year. Let’s look at the remaining holidays. Thanksgiving and the day after (two meals), Christmas and New Year’s (one meal each), and let’s say three parties (three meals) for a total of seven days and 10 meals.

So, what seems to be a big roadblock in your healthy lifestyle, is actually seven days out of 56, and 10 meals out of 126. Logically no one would sacrifice five unwanted pounds on those odds, yet every year millions of people do. A healthy lifestyle is a year-round affair, and a lifelong pursuit. A healthy lifestyle also means balance. It’s ok to enjoy those moments guilt free because if you are doing what you should be doing which is eating sensibly and exercising daily, then you don’t have to worry about digging a hole for yourself. Change your mind set about what the holidays truly are, and you will be able to enjoy the treats and keep a slim waistline.

William Davis has been in the fitness industry for 10 years and he’s run Steel Mill Fleming Island for seven years. He’s also a USA weightlifting sport performance and USA powerlifting club coach, a CrossFit Level 2 trainer, PN nutrition coach, CrossFit powerlifting trainer, aerobic capacity trainer, movement and mobility trainer and rowing trainer.

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