It's the most wonderful time of the yearrrrr......except you can't enjoy it due to the anxiety you feel when you think about all of the deliciously fattening foods that will be at your fingertips. Well, despite what you may have thought, it is possible to let loose a little without completely undoing all the hard work you've been putting in, working on your Better Body. Here are a few tips to get you through the Holidays guilt free and still on track with your fitness goals.
1. Don't completely skip your workout just because your family is in town or vice versa. It's tempting to brush off your responsibilities when your loved ones come to visit and I mean, really who doesn't love a good excuses to call out of work? But do NOT skip your workout. Now this doesn't mean that you need to keep the exact routine you were doing, but make sure you make time for exercise. Get up early before the family wakes for breakfast and get a quick 30 min body weight circuit in or go run a mile. Better yet, plan a family walk or sporting event. Shoot around with the basketball or walk the dog together, Anything is better than doing nothing, especially when it's likely that your caloric intake will fluctuate over this time period.
2. Remember portion sizes matter. When it comes time for meals, fill your plate with veggies and lean meats first. Eating vegetables first, helps curb overeating by filling you up with low calorie and high water content foods. Use a smaller plate and don't go back for seconds unless you actually aren't satisfied. Drink a glass of water first before you decide you're still hungry. Dehydration can mask itself as hunger!
3. Avoid alcohol and other high calorie beverages including juices and soda. It's cool to have a glass of wine or a brew, but wouldn't you rather have one of your mom's famous Christmas cookies instead? You're not missing out on any spectacular holiday cheer by passing up on drinks.
4. Keep your bedtime. It's easy to fall into the habit of staying up later than normal to binge-watch the Hallmark channel holiday movies, but don't. When you're tired, your body looks for energy sources to keep you going, food being the quickest source. You'll find that you crave carbs more when you're sleepy and that your will power is lacking. It also makes it harder to find the motivation to workout when you can't stop yawning. Aim to get the same amount of sleep as you normally do.
5. Be organized. Keep healthy snacks available so that you don't grab for the cookie jar out of convenience. Stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and whole grain snacks. Cook dinner for your family rather than eat out. It's easier to stay on track when you are in control of what you add to your meals.
6. Eat slowly. Chew your food and savor each bite. You don't need as much as you think to be satisfied. One piece of pie will do. One scoop of ice cream. One biscuit. The second piece never tastes as good as the first. That's actually a fact.
7. If you happen to overindulge or overeat during one meal, don't turn that into an entire cheat day. You can adjust your intake at the next meal to make up for it or get some more physical activity in. Keep practicing your healthy habits!
8. Try to keep moving throughout the day. If you notice that you've been sitting for the past two hours, take a lap around the house, take the trash out, walk up and down the stairs a few extra times. Out and about, park further away from stores and carry your own bags. Small acts make a big difference.
This a special time of the year and you should be able to enjoy it. Don't let your anxiety about falling off track prevent you from partaking in the Holiday cheer. Stay committed to your goals, keep these tips in mind, and I bet it'll be another season to remember with family, friends, and good health!