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Stick to health plan during holidays

By Reggie Palma

LAST UPDATED: 1:51 a.m. HST, Nov 2, 2010


The holidays are right around the corner. It just doesn't seem fair, does it? You work so hard all year to meet last year's weight-loss resolution only to have it all get messed up in the last quarter of the year.

It does not have to play out that way. First, let's change the goal for the next three months. We are not going to avoid having a good time during the holidays. Don't worry about losing any more weight for the next three months.

All your focus will be on maintaining your current dress or pants size. Don't worry about any transient weight gain, because most likely during this time that is all that is, transient. Stick with me, follow these steps and we will get through this holiday season together:

Step 1: Have an eating plan.

The best way to stay on track is to make a track you can follow. If you have a party to attend on Friday, be sure to cut out as many simple carbohydrates from your food intake as you can during the previous week. Remember, if it's white or tastes sweet or, even worse, is white and sweet, don't eat it. Also consider limiting your alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day.

Step 2: Have a backup workout plan.

For some, exercising is the first thing that gets cut from a busy holiday schedule. Do not do this. In some cases it might be just the thing you need to keep your health high and the craziness low. However, when exercise time is lost, find a way to reclaim it. Before you sit down on your couch or favorite chair, do squats for one minute. When you do finally sit in your chair, activate your abs by drawing in your belly button and lean back at a 45-degree angle without touching the backrest for one minute. Add a challenge and perform this maneuver with one leg off the ground. Do the same again when you get up from the chair.

Finally, never pass up a chance to sneak in exercise. If you see stairs right next to an escalator, then go for the stairs. If you plan on shopping at Macy's in Ala Moana, park in the Nordstrom wing.

First and foremost, enjoy the season and don't forget to reflect and congratulate yourself for the things accomplished this year.

Reggie Palma is an exercise physiologist and personal trainer. See his website at

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