Halloween rolls right into Thanksgiving and then we head into the month-long overindulgence of Christmas followed by New Year’s Eve. Chocolate everything, turkey with extra gravy, cookies and all that stuffing. I’m ready to lose holiday weight STAT.
There are tons of great options in the military community to help trim down after a busy holiday season.
How to Lose Holiday Weight on Your Military Base
Everything you need to start getting back into fighting form is right outside your door, and on your local military base!
Eat Right at the Commissary
Getting back into shape starts by eating right and your commissary has tools to help you find healthy foods. As you’re shopping, keep an eye on the shelves for nutrition labels to help you choose better-for-you foods.
The Nutrition Guide Program has helpful labels so that you can find healthier foods. Everything is color-coordinated and features an eye-catching graphic logo. You’ll be able to figure out which items are organic, low fat or whole grain.
Where I normally get into trouble are the middle aisles, where the snacks live. To avoid temptation, stick to the outside of the store. That’s where the whole foods are housed. The only exception you might want to make is for the freezer section, especially frozen vegetables and meats or seafood.
Fill your cart with produce, dairy products and meats or seafood.
Get Fit for Free at the Base Gym
Every military base has at least one fitness center that’s open, for free, to troops, dependents and retirees. Head down to your local base gym to check out what they have to offer.
Many fitness centers have a variety of standard equipment, like cardio machines, weight machines and free weights. Some centers also offer additional resources, like a pool or track.
You can drop into group fitness classes or join an accountability club, too! Many military fitness centers provide free group classes, like spin or yoga, as part of their programming. Some locations might also provide accountability programs, like running or cycling clubs. Log your miles every week to earn rewards!
Join a Military-Centered Fitness Community
If the gym isn’t your thing, connect with a non-traditional exercise group.
A super popular running group that’s already established is Stroller Warriors. No stroller or kids required! Join your local chapter for a January run. Groups are easy to find. Search your base and Stroller Warriors on Facebook.
You could also create your own DIY fitness group wherever you are located. Team up with friends, neighbors or folks in your unit. Get together for gym sessions, try out CrossFit workouts of the day or head out for a run. Use free YouTube videos or create your own programs together.
Keep each other accountable by tracking workouts and nutrition on a fitness app, like MyFitnessPal.
Hire a Personal Trainer
Fitness and personal training is a huge market in the military community. No matter where you are stationed, there are certified personal trainers in your military community.
Many personal trainers are military spouses who tailor their programs around their clients’ busy lives, factoring in deployments, erratic schedules or lack of child care.
Rates vary by location, so reach out to your local military community. Your on-base fitness facility might even have recommendations or personal trainers on staff.
Work with a Nutritionist
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut at the chow hall or cooking the same kid-friendly meals. Or you might be trying to eat better, but aren’t quite sure where to start.
Find a military-connected nutritionist or meal planner in your community.
A certified nutritionist can create an eating plan that accounts for your fitness levels, food preferences and other dietary needs. Your nutritionist can help you find recipes, share eating tips or introduce you to different foods.
Some nutritionists also run in-person or virtual accountability groups. You’ll be able to harness the power of a supportive community to make big changes in your life!
Plus, military-connected nutritionists will have experience shopping at the commissary. And they might be able to direct you to hidden gems on the economy, too.
Your MTF might have nutritionists on staff or have a curated list of preferred nutritionists.
Get Active with Others
Your MWR or FSS, as well as your local single service member program, might offer cool opportunities to get active with others in your community.
Depending on your location, you could find ski trips, hiking, scuba diving or horseback riding. Check with your MWR, single service member or FSS office to get specifics about excursions and trips near you.
Start Small First
There are tons of great options for military troops and families to get back in shape and lose holiday weight. It’s tempting to jump in all at once and try everything.
Instead of overwhelming yourself by trying everything together, start slowly and take small steps. Figure out what is the most reasonable and easiest place to start. Maybe make a plan to join a fitness group or overhaul your eating plans. Then add on next steps as you go.