Sticking to a regular exercise and nutrition plan all year around can be challenging and sometimes feel impossible. The holidays do not make it any easier either. There are gatherings, family events, special menu items (like the pumpkin spice latte of course), and so many baked goods, that it makes practicing balance difficult.
It is no question that it is easy to overindulge during the holidays. All the seasonal foods are limited edition, and we don’t seem to spare on only having one serving.
According to NBC News, Americans will consume 14% more calories during the holiday season and over 7,000 calories on Christmas day alone!
While the average American only gains one to two pounds during the holiday season, The New England Journal of Medicine found that most people never shed the pound they gained. This eventually leads to an accumulation of weight gain over the years.
You may not be able to avoid holiday temptations all together, but you can easily mentally prepare yourself ahead of time. Here a a few easy tips to help you finish the holiday season happy and healthy! There are 6 weeks left this holiday season get started on finishing your healthy holidays!
If you know that you know you will be attending an event later in the day, don’t starve yourself so you can indulge in all the food. Rather, make sure you have a hearty breakfast and lunch. Also, eating a higher amount of protein ahead of time, you will feel fuller, longer than eating a strictly high carbohydrate snacks. . The last thing you want to do in enter a holiday party on an empty stomach. You will inevitably devour the whole buffet table.
Remember, when counting your macros, you can eat anything you want as long as you accurately account for it. Be honest with yourself when in comes to tracking home cooked meals. If you know something is made with real sugar, it is more than likely to be higher in carbs versus your home baked goods.
It is about the holiday, not the food
The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of the holidays, is food. Delicious and warm home cooked meals. Oh, and I can’t forget grandma's famous sweet potato casserole. But, it doesn’t have to be only about the food; food should just be an added bonus. The holidays are meant to bring families and friends together. Spending time and creating memories with those close to you is what really makes the holiday season special.
Now, I know it can be boring when you have done the same thing for the past 5+ years in a row. Mix it up. Find different things to do with your loved ones that do not necessarily revolve around food. Ice skating and trips to the pumpkin patch are always good ideas!
Don’t forget about exercise
Don’t forget about your workouts just because you’ve seemed to be enjoying yourself with food. Instead, use the added calories and extra energy and motivation for your training sessions. In fact, during this time you may want to try and add a few extra minutes to your workout. However, the last thing you want to do is skip your sessions all together. Any workout is better than none at all.
Keep your sleep
With more holiday parties and gathering it will leave you staying up later, cutting into your sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, you add stress to your body; which has a huge impact on your health. Sleep deprivation is actually linked to weight gain. So get your rest and set yourself a strict bedtime. Don’t feel like you need to attend every single event throughout the week. Pick and choose the ones that are most important to you. You body will thank you for it later.
Don’t drink your calories away
Instead of wasting all your macros and calories on a glass of soda or two servings of egg nog, choose to use them on real good instead. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a drink here and there. But you can make conscious choices such as skipping on the extra sweetener and whipping cream that many cocktails come with. Also, opting for red wine or lighter alcohols are a great way to save some calories.
Drink plenty of water to ensure you stay hydrated and not mistaking hunger for thirst. Don’t eat according to your emotions. Sometimes holidays can bring us loads of stress. We are already busy with work, kids, or school, and to top it off, we now have to plan holiday events and attend them. Oh, and we still have to get our holiday shopping done. The stress can become overwhelming. This is when you really need to be conscious of how much you are eating. Many times we eat out of emotion. I am stressed, so I am going to eat a king size bar of chocolate. I am too busy to cook; i’ll just grab some McDonalds. It becomes easy to turn to food for comfort or as an excuse if you are unaware of it.
As long as you allow yourself to make conscious decisions and you become aware of his common issue, you will be able to choose better options that will still guarantee you to stay on track.
Get a buddy
Everybody wants to indulge during these festive times, but also, it seems that these same people want to stay on track with their diets too. Find somebody who is just as dedicated as you too and will help keep you accountable!
A FitBody Fusion Coach can definitely help with accountability as well as other tips to keep you on track during the holidays! Get a jump start before all the new years resolutioners here!
Going into the holiday season, don’t forget about your goals. Don’t forget about all the progress you have made so far, don’t let it all go down the drain. Remind yourself why you committed to a healthy lifestyle. Ask yourself every time you have temptations if this is going to help you reach your goals or set you back.
If you have a favorite holiday dish, try making it yourself with better quality options. For example, you can substitute whole milk with skim milk or even split the amount of sugar in half to save yourself some carbs. It is not about depriving yourself this holiday season. As long as you keep your goals in mind and continue to achieve your daily macronutrients, then enjoy it! Count that pumpkin pie, and eat it too!