Enjoying the holidays without wrecking the gains you’ve made all year can be tough but it’s definitely doable. First of all, it’s the holidays…so enjoy yourself and relax! I think this is something that people tend to forget or lose sight of. I know it can get chaotic and stressful but I think the key to an enjoyable and blessed holiday season is to remind yourself that it’s about friends and family not gifts and food. Great food helps but it’s not the goal!!
On that note, here are few tips to keep you from completely derailing your fitness.
1. Office treats…oh, those amazing office treats! I work from home so I don’t have this “problem” but I used to work in a school that had an employee baking contest. You can’t properly judge the contest if you don’t try EVERYTHING, right? Office treats are usually set up or offered all in one location so finding ways to avoid that spot is the best way to avoid overeating. Certainly, indulge if something looks especially good but you don’t need to grab a cookie every time you pass through the room. Plot a new course to the copy machine!
2. Parties and gatherings are part of the season. And usually, so is alcohol. Hubby’s company holiday party serves a drink called The Grinch and it’s amazing. If I’m not careful, I’ll drink 5 of them before I know it! (I’m not a big drinker. Really!!) Anyway, alcohol can add a lot of calories to your evening and you wouldn’t even realize it. Drinks are not filling like food. I try to match alcoholic drinks with glasses of water. It keeps me hydrated and keeps my calories in check. If you choose to drink be safe and of course, enjoy yourself, it’s a party!
3. While we’re talking about parties and gatherings…they always include food. Usually, very delicious food. I know I’ve said this before but, anyway…it’s a party. Enjoy it! I don’t “save up” calories for when I’m at the party. That never works. I also don’t eat a snack before the party like some people suggest. Frankly, that doesn’t work for me either. If it works for you, go for it. What I try to do is fill my plate with mostly veggies and then some protein and the last remaining bit is for carbs. And yes, I have dessert.
4. As far as my fitness routine goes, I don’t set any lofty goals during or right after the holidays. I focus on one day at a time and aim for maintenance. I have the good fortune to be able to work out during the day while the kids are at school so it isn’t too difficult to stick to my routine. But, I know that’s not the case for many people who’s evening routines might be interrupted by parties or houseguests or kids events. Just because you don’t have two hours for your regular workout doesn’t mean that you can’t do SOMETHING. Even 15 minutes will help relieve stress and is better than nothing.
5. Rest and relax! At the risk of beating a dead horse…it’s the holidays…enjoy yourself! Take some downtime and enjoy your friends and family. After all, that’s the point and the perk of the holiday season.