Let’s face it: it is hard to stick to healthy eating and an exercise plan during the holidays. Everywhere we turn, there are tempting foods and drinks – from treats at office parties to our own traditional family favorites.
When you add in a busy schedule filled with shopping and get-togethers, whether in person or online, that makes it tough to squeeze in exercise. You have a recipe for disaster as far as our scales and our energy are concerned.
The good news is that you really can get through the holidays without gaining weight, feeling stressed and exhausted. It will take some effort, but you will thank yourself a thousand times when January 1st rolls around and you have no regrets!
Set Your Intentions
Think about how you want to feel starting in the New Year. I bet that you don’t want to feel exhausted, overweight, overwhelmed, and frustrated. How would it feel to start the new year full of energy, relaxed, fulfilled, renewed, and ready for what lies ahead?
Picture yourself as you would like to be in the new year and speak to yourself as if you are there and thank yourself for taking the action steps that needed to happen for it to be so.
For example, “Thank you (your name) for staying active, focusing on spending quality time with the people you love, and remaining mindful with your eating this holiday season. It feels so good to not have gained any weight, to have more energy, and to have enjoyed the time spent this holiday season.”
By becoming really clear with yourself about where you want to be, you can be honest with yourself about the action needed to get there.
Prioritize Your Schedule
The holiday season can be very overwhelming. There are so many events, and no one wants to miss out on any of the fun! But the holidays can also bring about a lot of stress and pressure. Remind yourself that it is ok to pick and choose the events you say “yes” to attending.
Politely declining the extras will leave you feeling less stressed and allow room in your schedule to keep up with your workouts and your health.
Be a Mindful Eater
Overeating, stress and emotional eating are big culprits of weight gain over the holiday season. Be mindful at events about what you eat and your portion size. Savor it, and enjoy it!
The holidays can be a very stressful time of year with busy schedules, pressure from family, emotions are high. If you find yourself stressed out or emotional, try not to reach immediately for food. Recognize your emotion and find a healthy way to navigate through it whether that be taking a walk, stepping outside, breathing, chatting with a trusted friend, or journaling.
When at events or meals, don’t deprive yourself of your favorites, instead have a smaller portion and fill your body with healthier items first. Skip the cheese and sweets for appetizers and enjoy some veggies, lean meats, olives, fruit, and nuts to start, helping you to feel more satiated allowing a little bit of room for the traditional favorites.
You might even want to bring a healthier option so that you know there is a lighter dish amongst the heavier favorites.
Stay Active and Exercise
It may feel like you don’t have time to manage your regular routine in between parties, family time, and shopping, but if you prioritize yourself and your health, you will find time to get in a workout. Our workouts at Vitality Fitness and Wellness are just 45 minutes online that you can do right from home!
It’s also a great time of year to get in some extra activity outside! Go for a hike, rake leaves with the grandkids, or walk around and take a look at the lights together. Create some new traditions that add some healthy activity for everyone!
Don’t Skip Meals
Fueling your body with a healthy protein-packed breakfast will help to curb cravings throughout the day and help you consume less extra calories at events. You might think that taking in less calories will be good for you, but your metabolism will slow down and your insulin levels will drop causing you to have brain fog, fatigue, and irritability as well as spike your cravings.
You can survive the holidays with no added weight gain and exhaustion. It’s definitely possible to go into the new year feeling full of energy, refreshed, fulfilled, and ready to take on the year. Remember these tips and keep a vision of what you want to feel like on January 1 in mind. It’s going to be a great holiday season!
Grab your free copy of my Healthy Holiday Recipe Book here!
What healthy meals have you prepared for holidays past? Do you think it’s true that we lose our routines during the holidays? Are you prepared to keep your exercise routine and what is your secret?