Holidays are typically the time of year we give ourselves some wiggle room when it comes to eating and exercise habits. According to Costco the festivities begin in August, but for the rest of us December 1 marks the beginning of dinner parties, eggnog, cocktails, and chocolates. While this may be great for the soul, we slowly spend the month increasing our caloric intake leaving us to face the New Year with a few unwanted pounds.
Good news! This year that won’t be you. Use these tips and tricks to enjoy the holiday season without sacrificing your health and fitness goals.
1. Write Down Your Goals
Where do you want to be come January 1? Is your goal to maintain what you have right now? To keep getting leaner and stronger? Whatever your goal is, write it down and post it somewhere obvious to remind yourself what you are working towards. Once you’ve done that, figure out what needs to happen this holiday season to get you there. That may mean that you skip the second helping of pie or double the amount of vegetables you serve up. Whatever you choose to do this holiday season practice moderation and let your goals determine your actions.
2. Schedule Your Workouts
I understand that the month of December is crazy busy, but don’t let your gym bag get lost in the hustle. Train efficiently and with your goals in mind at least 2 days a week. This will help your body maintain its strength, keep your muscles working, and give you more wiggle-room when it comes to treats on Christmas morning.
Keep your gym bag in the car, schedule training into your day, and work efficiently by using interval training. With a set times of work and rest you know you can get in and out of the gym in 30 minutes, no problem. As an added benefit, this type of training boosts your metabolism and keeps your body burning calories long after your workout.
For a quick, at-home workout CLICK HERE.
3. Plan Ahead
Just as you would schedule your workouts, start scheduling your treat days. Look at your calendar and figure out when you have parties or special events. For you this could be 1 – 2 days a week, which means that on the other 5 – 6 days you should aim to eat lean protein and vegetables, and exercise. This trick will help you keep your weight in-check while still enjoying Christmas goodies, guilt-free.
4. Eat Before You Leave
Unless you are going to a dinner party, most Christmas events start later in the evening. Maybe you ate breakfast, lunch around noon, and you’re planning on fasting until the party. Big mistake. By the time you get there you will be famished and ready to destroy the dessert table. Save yourself from this emotional eating by having a meal that is high in protein and vegetables before you leave. Once you get to the party you will be more likely to eat food for enjoyment, rather than trying to cure your hunger.
5. Drink Water First
Don’t let the holiday season get the best of your water intake. Being hydrated is a key player in weight loss, and how your body functions and feels. Make a goal for yourself to have a glass of water before every alcoholic or sugary drink. By doing this you are helping your body digest and function more efficiently, and you may even avoid a headache the following morning.
6. Find Your Go-To Foods
You may have to wade through a sea of chocolate turtles, cheese balls and fudge, but I guarantee there will always be some waist-friendly foods at a party. The most common are a vegetable or fruit platter, hummus, and quality meats, such as turkey or roast beef. Munch away on these nutrient packed foods and then treat yourself to the peppermint fudge (go on, you deserve it).
Note – Watch out for high-calorie foods, like assorted nuts, as it is easy to eat a few hundred calories in one handful.
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