U.S. FlagI’ve been chatting with one of my twitter friends Dee who asked me for a couple of tips to help her avoid holiday weight gain over the upcoming Fourth of July weekend. In case you’re not familiar with Twitter, you are limited to 140 characters in your message, which doesn’t go a long way. Hey, I’m loving Twitter, that’s not a problem, all I’m saying is that our conversation got me thinking about the deeper, more complex answer on how to really avoid holiday weight gain.

Actually, what I’m going to share with you will help you on any holiday or special occasion, and you really need to be armed with this knowledge. Why? Because there are 10 Federal U.S. holidays a year, almost one per month, but when you throw in the holidays like Valentines, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween, etc., now you’re looking at an average of at least 2 holidays or special occasions per month and that’s not counting birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, weddings, vacations, and Super Bowl Sunday!

Are you Dieting or Living a Healthy Lifestyle?

The way I see it, the only thing that is going to carry you through and keep you healthy and fit is a healthy lifestyle chock full of healthy habits. Healthy habits are choices you choose to make day in and day out and you don’t put those on the shelf every time a holiday or special occasion comes up. A diet is what you take on and off like an old shirt because a diet is not meant to be a lifestyle – it’s only a short term action to (possibly) lose weight and it’s a great way to slow down your metabolism (another topic, another day 😉 ).

Going a Bit Further

Now if you’re truly living a healthy lifestyle, what do you need to do so? You need commitment – commitment to yourself that you are going to honor and care for yourself just like you would honor and care for another person whom you love deeply and respect.

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You need commitment to make healthy choices for yourself even though sometimes you might have that rebellious part of you screaming out for sweets, for refined sugar, sugar that you know will give you food cravings and get you into a cycle of wanting more and more. You may think that those sugar-filled foods will make you feel better but in the end they will make you feel worse, or at least that’s been my experience.

Ok, So What’s Under the Commitment?

So why are you committed to leading a healthy lifestyle instead of only trying another diet to lose weight? Because you are strongly motivated to do so. Ah, so this is the key, at the bottom of it all what you really need to avoid holiday weight gain is motivation, that driving force that needs to have an emotional hook to it because if you are only motivated by thoughts of “I should get healthy and fit”, that just won’t be enough to carry you through (believe me, I’ve been there – maybe you have, too).

You’ve got to have a motivation so strong that no matter if you have a month filled with 3 birthday parties, one major U.S. holiday, and an out of town vacation, you will still make healthy choices for yourself. If you’re not addicted to sugar and do not get into a cycle of food cravings from eating refined sugar and white flour and can eat foods containing them in moderation then even if you eat a piece of birthday cake you’ll stop with one and then still carry on with your regular exercise routine. You won’t got all out and give up all of your healthy habits during the entire event just because it’s a special occasion.

You won’t experience ups and downs with your weight because your lifestyle choices are based on your health and well being because you are committed to living at an optimum level of life. You are committed to this because you are motivated to treat yourself with love, kindness, and respect.

It’s All About Your Own Reasons, Your Motivation for Healthy Action

So the way to avoid holiday weight gain is by choosing to live a healthy lifestyle, a healthy lifestyle that does not get switched off because of a holiday or a special event. A healthy lifestyle that you choose to live because healthy actions give you optimum return on investment – you look good, feel good, love your life, and you maintain your weight loss for life.

Now if your motivation to stick to a healthy lifestyle isn’t as strong as what I’m describing I suggest setting aside 30 minutes and getting out a piece of paper. Write down every reason you can think of for choosing to eat healthy foods and engage in regular exercise. Do some soul searching and ask yourself if you want to be in the same place you are today 6 months from now, 2 years from now, 5 years from now. If you want to lose weight, get strong, get fit, and have a fitter body 6 months from now, you’ve got to find that strong motivation to follow through and persist.

If You’re Struggling…

If you still don’t have a strong enough motivation to get yourself healthy and fit then take a look at another post I wrote about finding your motivation to lose weight. I also suggest my post about uncovering your limiting beliefs, which will help you see if you have unconscious beliefs in the way of your success. In addition, I’m in the process of writing my Ebook for you that is all about weight loss motivation but in the end there is nothing stronger than doing your own soul searching and asking yourself exactly where you want to be 6 months from now.

The Holiday will Come and Go

It’s all up to you – don’t give your power away to a holiday – a holiday doesn’t determine whether or not you make your own healthy choices, you are always the one who decides what you eat and how much you exercise. You can always remember your bottom-line motivation to live a healthy and fit lifestyle, you just have to want it more than you want to use food for fun.

Focus on the people and the fun activities of your holiday gathering, remember your motivation, and you’ll have a much easier time making healthy choices for yourself no matter what the holiday or event is. Remember, that holiday will come and go and you’ll either be one step closer to your goal of a healthy, fit, strong body, or you’ll be further away, it’s all up to you.

How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain – What You Really Need to Know

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