Health expert offers fit tips during holidays

3:58 AM, Nov 5, 2013   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - The average American gains three to five pounds during the holidays, which can often create a detour on the road to weight loss.

Experts say if a person takes their mind off of the food and concentrates on themselves instead, finding willpower is possible.

"Self-awareness or journaling can be very powerful, not for your coaches or other people, but just for you to understand," said Anika Christ, Senior Program Manager for Life Time Fitness Weight Loss.

One strategy Christ finds helpful is customizing social media feeds. She tells people to take control of any negative influence that might be popping up on Facebook or Twitter.

"If there's a certain diet you're following, or just someone with more social support, look for those so you can get recipe ideas throughout the day to keep you going," said Christ.

Stop watching the scale and use other ways to manage progress. For instance, pay attention to how you feel.

"I'm not a big fan of the scale," said Christ. "Instead, focus on the numbers that matter. So, for us we focus on metabolism or metrics inside of your blood system."

Change your clothes. Literally. Get rid of that outfit that might be a favorite, but it's too big for you now. Instead, buy yourself something a bit smaller. It can act as motivation.

"A lot of times how you fit and how you feel in your clothes will impact how you feel the rest of the day," exclaimed Christ. "So, if you're wearing baggy clothes, that's not going to necessarily motivate you on your journey. You're going to feel like that big, baggy person still."

Picture yourself happy. Document the weight loss journey by taking pictures of yourself having fun with friends or "selfies" of you looking your best.

"It's very important to capture this stuff now so you can look back and say, 'Hey, I am this new person, and I don't have to be this identity of who I used to identify myself with before.'" said Christ.

Measure success by the hour. Rather than giving into cravings, try to eat something healthy every few hours instead of getting so hungry, that you're craving unhealthy snacks.

"Instead, make behavior changes and really focus in on the now," said Christ.

If you make an unhealthy choice, focus on the positive.

"Own it. Record it, if necessary," said Christ. "That helps instill that new identity that you are this healthy person on this great journey to weight loss."

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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