By Moira Lawler | October 25, 2016 | Lifestyle
According to a new study, the weeks before the temptation-filled holiday season are the lightest you’ll weigh all year. Set out to prove science wrong by heeding the advice of 13 local health and fitness pros. As a bonus, you won’t need to make losing weight your New Year’s resolution for the umpteenth year in a row.
"You don't want to be overhauling your lifestyle in the midst of the holiday season when work and family obligations are the busiest. Focus on micro goals, which are smaller things you can commit to each day to sweat and get more steps in. For example, you could do a 10-minute high-intensity dance party at home with zero prep or planning. Not only is it a calorie burn, but dancing is a good mood booster during seasonal blues." Classes offered around the city
“Prioritize full-body strength training, like we do at Barry's. The more muscle you have on your body, the more efficient your metabolism will be. Do multi-joint movements like push-ups, deadlifts, or squats to overhead press to get the most bang for your buck. In the kitchen, consume all of your meals and calories within a 10-hour window. Your body will deplete its reserves and burn fat for energy.” Barry’s Bootcamp, 9 W. Erie St., opening next month
“My most important tip during the holiday season is to practice discipline and self-control. Easier said than done, right? During the holidays, my family makes a lot of food. There are enough appetizers to feed an army before the main meal is even served. What helps me the most is having a small plate for the appetizers and a medium plate for my main meal. Portion size is very important. Also, before you decide to get seconds, wait 20 minutes. Engage in conversations, and drink a glass of water. After about 20 minutes have gone by, are you still hungry or are you content?” CrossTown Fitness, 1031 W. Madison St., 312-550-1063; 3600 N. Halsted St., 312-550-9923
“Maintain your regular workout and healthy-eating routines through the holidays, especially exercise. Once your exercise routine goes, eating often follows. Of course, it's okay to indulge occasionally just like the rest of the year, but the better you maintain your regular routines, the less likely you are to gain weight.” Bar Method, 1 E. Delaware St., 312-573-9150; 3144 N. Sheffield Ave., 773-935-2150; 180 N. Wacker Dr., 312-332-9150; 1271 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-384-3150
"Avoid the pressure of overly committing socially during the holidays because there will be inevitable treats and temptations. To prep for a gathering, increase your interval training to burn fat, skip the mixed drinks and double up on water, and eat before you go so you're never hungry at a party."
"Set short-term goals like being active at least three times a week and tracking your food intake. Especially around the holidays with so many social events, practice mindfulness and do some contingency planning with your nutrition so you're set up for success." Revolution Physical Therapy Weight Loss, 205 N. Wells St., 312-957-8882; 1436 W. Fullerton, 312-878-8800; 845 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 937 W, 312-651-6255
“Make your own challenge for the 45-day period that covers all the holidays, say from November 21 to January 2. Within these 45 days, work on eating healthy and commit to a strict workout regimen. If you don't have the discipline to restrain yourself from extra-sugary sweets, make a goal to work out one or two extra days a week to help burn off the extra calories you ingest. For example, you could commit to working out 20 of the 45 days, and limit treats at holiday parties to one and alcohol beverages to two an evening. I always post my challenges on Facebook, which makes me super accountable since I am sharing my success with the world.” The Dailey Method, 1714 N. Damen Ave., 773-904-8913; 2301 N. Clark St., 773-883-2990; 410 Green Bay Road, 847-920-5260
“When at cocktail and holiday parties, make sure to only have one drink and stick to eating veggies. If you indulge with drink No. 2, you will find your hands in the bread bowl and sweets. It’s a fact.” Bar Method, 1 E. Delaware St., 312-573-9150; 3144 N. Sheffield Ave., 773-935-2150; 180 N. Wacker Dr., 312-332-9150; 1271 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-384-3150
“Create a cocktail routine that works for you. Bottom line: Cocktails tend to be calorically dense (depending on what you drink), and everyone's body reacts differently. If you choose to drink, do it in a way that allows you to be social, but allows you to live your life hangover-free the next day. For some people, that rule is no drinks at office parties. For others, it's drinking two glasses of red wine over the evening. For me, I'll enjoy one drink made with the plant-based spirit tequila, and then switch to club soda and still wake up with my 5 a.m. alarm.”
“Our genes expect a break in the colder months, allowing the body time to rest and rejuvenate. One of the most effective ways to avoid winter weight gain and encourage healthy gene expression is to practice intermittent fasting. I personally aim for at least a 12-hour window without food from the time I eat dinner to the time I have my first meal the next day, which is usually a bulletproof coffee or matcha tea. The key to successful intermittent fasting is to favor healthy fats and avoid processed carbs.” HI-VIBE Superfood Juicery, 160 W. Kinzie St., 312-724-8423
“Make time for your workout in the morning. During the holidays, eating and drinking can be an all-day-and-night event, so hit the gym before the party hits you. By doing this, you'll kick start your body early and it will help combat holiday snacking and boozing.” ENRGi Fitness, 215 W. Ohio St., 312-846-6989
“We know everyone struggles a bit with getting into the studio consistently during the holiday season, and we think the best way to hold yourself accountable for making it to your workout is to buddy up and commit to a challenge. Find a friend who will hold you to task and reserve spots in class together—even make a plan for a coffee date afterward to sweeten the deal. We promise it will make it a lot harder to press that snooze button a second time when you know your friend is waiting for you.” Shred415, 1136 S. Delano Court West, Suite E202, 312-283-3980; 230 W. Division St., 312-291-8722; 1444 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-596-9555; 2150 N. Clybourn Ave., 773-360-8228
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Betsy Struxness (STONE); CASS GUNDERSON (ANDERSON COHEN); COURTESY CROSSTOWN FITNESS (ROUNTREE); Ethan Talley (PETTIT)