Many runners have a love/hate relationship with the holidays. While visiting family and getting time away from work is usually welcome, it can throw off routines, change eating habits and give you less time to run.
The good news is, if you enter this season with a few weight management strategies in mind, you're far less likely to go overboard. With the right information you can learn to navigate the holidays and partake in the merriment without setting yourself back too far in the fitness department.
Set a Goal for the Season
Maybe your goal is to run at least four days a week, despite the hectic holidays. Or perhaps you'd like to promise to limit your dessert intake. Whatever the objective, research suggests that setting one or multiple goals ahead of time can help you regulate yourself despite the constant barrage of sugar cookies and seasonal drinks.
"Goal setting is one of the most effective ways to stay on track," says Melissa Grindle , a registered dietitian and health coach in the Washington D.C. area.
Since the holidays often coincide with the offseason for many runners, New York City-based registered dietitian Kim Hoban suggests identifying multiple goals to work toward, whether that be practicing yoga a couple times a week or a more nutrition-oriented objective. "Keep in mind, goals should always be measurable, so rather than saying 'I want to limit sweets over the holidays,' set a goal to reduce desserts to only twice per week."
Keep Track of Your Weight
A recent study out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill compared two groups of overweight adults. One group monitored weight once a day, while the other weighed themselves once a week. At the end of the six-month study, those who weighed themselves daily lost an average of 6.55 percent and those who weighed themselves less often lost just .35 percent.