Slim School Is In Session

September is the month to recommit yourself to fitness because the slew of holidays ahead will cram your schedule and test your willpower.

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You’re not worried about your first-day-of-class outfit or finding a date for homecoming anymore, but now is still the time for schooling if you want to ace the upcoming holiday season tests.

Prep now for the challenges ahead by dusting off your nutrition knowledge and exercise expertise. The big game is ahead and you’re the star player. The more training you do now, the less likely you are to be tackled by a bag of candy corn or too much pumpkin pie.

Time for a little math. If you eat 222 more calories per day through the fall and holiday seasons, how much weight will you gain each month?

The answer is 2 pounds a month. And if you’re not focused, it could happen without you noticing. Research shows that most people eat an extra 222 calories a day in the fall. One possible reason is the reduction in daylight that may impact the amount of feel-good serotonin levels in your brain. Lack of serotonin encourages you to turn to food for a boost. The solution? Add an extra 15-30 minute stroll in natural light to combat the effect of shorter days.

Now physics class is in session. Can an increase in exercise make up for the extra calories that you may eat?

The answer is yes…and no. Yes, exercise will burn extra calories. But, it’s not quite that easy. First of all, extra holiday functions in the coming months will make it more challenging than ever to add more exercise to your schedule. Plus, if you maintain the mindset that you’re taking care of extra calories, you’re more likely to eat more than the average 222 calories per day that are common. Studies confirm that the fastest way to weight loss and the surest way to maintain a goal weight is through a commitment to healthy eating.

Don’t forget your extracurricular activities. Now is a great time to organize your fitness posse to help you through the season. Start a walking group or enroll in a workout class with a friend. You’re much less likely to skip a session when you know others are counting on you. Virtual friends are great, too. Connect with a long-distance friend or relative in a different time-zone that can join you  and you’ll always have someone in another time zone that can talk you out of your latest temptation.

Class may have been dismissed long ago, but you can still borrow some ideas from your school days to keep on track this fall.

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