Column by Leanne Ely

I knew it was coming, and it did: the holiday goodies are piling up at my house. Boxes of candy, a cookie sampler basket filled to the brim with every favorite homemade cookie you can imagine. My aching thighs!

But time for a reality check. This is the time of year to hold ground, not try and lose weight. Your regular exercise routine is more important than ever before. So is your eating plan. Yes, eating regularly as much as possible and just having a taste of these goodies that descend on your household is key to holding a firm line on your weight gain.

I had an a ha moment last week when I realized that the three to nine pounds the average person puts on during the holidays could result in a weight gain of 15 to 45 pounds over five years if it isn’t diligently pursued and taken off right away. This is how body clutter creeps on. It’s incremental and almost stealth-like. It happens an ounce at a time and before you know it, you’ve got a closet full of clothes that no longer fit.

The answer of course is to keep that fulcrum balanced: food intake to balance the exercise outgo. That’s how your weight stays constant. And to take it off incrementally, a concerted effort with a little less in the food department, a little more exercise, add into the equation proper rest/sleep, adequate water intake and the weight comes off. Listen, it’s not the diets that fail; it’s WE who fail the diets!

So the countdown toward the end of the year begins. Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve overindulged; become mindful right here and now, and be careful for the rest of the holidays. Enjoy a treat or two, but remember you don’t have to eat everything in sight. Go easy! There will be other festive occasions and you will see those treats again!

You can of course join us on SavingDinner for our Losing it with Leanne (LWL) program. I’m doing the gluten free version; some are doing the original LWL, still others are doing an entirely different plan. The point is Mindfulness, capital M. And if you’re following a plan, that mindfulness comes with every spoonful.

Happy Holidays!


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