As a health coach, I hear so often that December through the New Year is one of the hardest times to stay focused when it comes to health goals. I completely understand as there are many social commitments, holiday parties, and tempting foods around this time. I do believe with a little navigation, you can still maintain your physique and potentially even make progress through this time.
Here are a few tips to consider:
- Just like you do with your meal prep and workouts - you have to plan ahead. Know which parties and events that you are going to attend and put them on the calendar. Then go one step beyond that and decide which ones you are going to fully splurge and which you are going to eat before or bring your own healthy dish. This can go a long way with your mindset and knowing how to prepare your week and still have things to look forward to. Most people fail because they are unprepared. This doesn't have to be you! Just a friendly reminder too, its ok to no to some invitations.
- For the occasions that you do want to partake - do so without any guilt. You work hard in the gym and eat to fuel your body to be able to celebrate without guilt. We hear the term balance all the time and this is a concept to embrace during the holidays. The reality is that food is very much a part of our culture when it comes to celebrating. Once you have decided and put those days on the calendar then you know that meal on that particular day is not one you are going to stress over! (I highly encourage not stressing over food any day but thats a whole different blog post!)
- Focus on your company and cultivating the relationships present . Engage more in conversation than in food. Importantly, make sure that when you do eat, its in a relaxed environment, that you are eating slowly and being mindful. I know the food and baked goodies are delicious but its not worth feeling uncomfortable. You can still have treats, just don't go to the point of feeling extremely full.
- Again, going back to your plan - the next day you get back on track with your clean eating and don't stress over the meal from the day or night before. You choose whats best for you. There is no need to do extra cardio or feel guilt. I promise you will not get fat from one meal or one day of relaxed eating. The last thing that should be on your mind is macros or fat or carb grams. Focus on what matters the most!
Here's to a healthy rest of the year. Choose your meals and parties to enjoy and be guilt free! Go into the New Year already on your A game!
Maximum Performance Coach