The holiday season can be a very stressful time for us. We are in the thick of it as we speak. There is less “me time” which means the first thing to usually go right out the door is your workout and time to make a healthy meal for yourself. Grab and go is much quicker and you’d rather spend the hour that you normally workout getting holiday things done.
While there is no doubt that it is a very busy time and statistics clearly show that many people gain at least 10 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Years, I am here to tell you that you can absolutely maintain your weight, keep your lifestyle balanced, and get through the holidays with flying colors.
- DO NOT GO ON A DIET. I know this sounds counterintuitive, but a diet is not a short term goal. A diet is more of a lifestyle, so deciding to slash your calories and make yourself miserable during the happiest time of the year will only make matters worse. Short term results result in weight gain. The better choice is to keep your diet steady throughout the holidays and aim to maintain, not gain. You may want to know how many calories you should be eating to keep your calories in check.
- MAKE ME TIME. Make yourself a priority. Self love is not selfish. 30-60 minutes of exercise each day will mean the world of difference to your overall health mentally and physically. You will most likely make healthier decisions throughout the day and you will feel satisfied and more accomplished that you managed to get your workout in.
- DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. Stop waiting for the last minute to get everything done. Make a list early and try to cross one or two things off your list each day. It will give you more time to do things you want to do (like make a healthy meal and get a workout in) and it will relieve a ton of stress when the holidays indeed arrive.
- STOP MAKING EXCUSES. Everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day but we all choose to spend the time differently. Make your health and fitness a priority and you will see that your health and fitness will improve. Schedule a time to get your workout in. Good things come to those that work for it. It’s a short amount of time we need to give to get a great return.
- BALANCE YOUR MEALS. If you know you are attending a party later in the day or at night, eat lighter meals during the day. Focus on lean proteins such as chicken breast, shrimp, greek yogurt, cottage cheese and egg whites and pair them fruits like berries and lots of veggies. The fiber in the fruit and vegetables along with the protein will keep you full with little calories so that you can enjoy your night without feeling deprived. Keep in mind that there will always be another meal in a few hours and that if you have to discipline yourself for one or two meals during the day you will be thankful for it later on. Create your own customized nutrition plan.
- DON’T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF. While the holidays can certainly be stressful with family and a laundry list of things to do, remember that they are truly meant to be enjoyed. You don’t need to eat things in abundance to have a good time. Be picky and make good decisions! Savor the moment with family and friends instead of food. And at the same time remember, one meal will not make you ”fat” just as one meal will not make you “skinny”. A healthier lifestyle of consistent healthy choices is going to get you where you want to be. Enjoy a treat, and move on. It is all about balance!