Staying Fit through the Holidays

Staying Fit through the Holidays

Ahhh, the end of the year, the last few months of fun and festive cheer before the New Year begins. The days between Halloween and New Years are filled with yummy, delicious treats ranging from Halloween candy to your grandmas famous mash-potatoes; foods that are experts at making your pants a little tighter.

With all these delicious festivities going on, it can be hard to stay on track with your fitness goals and refuse to indulge in all sorts of tempting treats. Even the most disciplined people find it hard to stay on track during this time of year.

In this article, we are going to provide 7 helpful tips to keep you on track with your goals throughout the holiday season.

1. Plan Ahead

Track your food intake and activity level. Even if you decide to eat certain foods that are higher in calories than others, you will be able to portion accordingly and make other modifications to stay within your caloric goals.

Also, staying hydrated is extremely important. Our bodies often confuse thirst with hunger. A large glass of water before meals can help minimize the amount of food you consume.

Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water per day is the amount recommended by health care providers.

2. Stay Active

Prioritize your workouts. Try to do them in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This is a sure-fire way to avoid comments like “Oh, come on! It’s Thanksgiving…” Your loved ones may mean well, but aren’t always the best source of accountability!

With that being said, you should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible. However, the holidays are the busiest (best) time of the year and if you find yourself way to spread thin to make it to a gym, track your steps!

Set a goal of 10,000 (or more) steps per day and walk whenever possible! Walk while on the phone, park farther from the store, use the stairs, while on break at work, etc.!

Implement this simple strategy and you will no doubt hit your goal of 10,000 steps! (Probably easier than you imagine!)

3. Drink With Moderation

It is smart to regulate your drinking since beverages such as alcohol, coke and other juices will add many more calories to the ones you’ve already consumed! More so, they are what my mother used to refer to as “empty calories”, meaning you gain no nutritional value from them and they do nothing to keep you full!

Moderating your drinking is an easy way to keep your calorie intake down.

4. Avoid Sitting for Long Periods

When you’re not tearing it up on the dance floor, you probably find yourself sinking into the sofa. Research shows that getting up for just five minutes every 30 to 60 minutes and performing light activity reduces the risk of diabetes and other heart disease risk factors.

5. Eat Strategically

If you want something high in sugar, try eating it early in the day and if at night, just have a sample. A sample goes a long way 

Also, try to avoid a very heavy meal right before turning in for the night.

6. Indulge for a day, not a season.

It’s easy to overindulge when the leftovers are staring you in the face every time you open the fridge. “Out of sight out of mind” is helpful in this case.

Don’t allow “treats” to become staples by sticking around long after the festivities are over. Send home your leftover treats with relatives so they can enjoy them, and you can enjoy staying on track with your goals. 

7. Enjoy the Holiday

Remember, it’s only one day. The reality is, one day is not going to make or break your health routine. Unfortunately, most individuals start a pattern of daily “treats” during this season and combine that with skipping exercise due to busy schedules.

This pattern ends up going from Thanksgiving until the end of the year.

Enjoy the holiday, but don’t let it go from one day of indulgence to an entire month that leads to habits that continue beyond the holiday season.