Practical Fitness and Food Tips for Thriving (not just surviving) the Holidays
Updated: Dec 9, 2021
Whenever the holidays come around life can get stressful as we try to enjoy the holiday festivities while balancing your healthy lifestyle. The truth is that the holidays can be super challenging if you are trying to eat healthy and keep with your fitness routine. Here are some pro-tips and strategies to find a balance and thrive over the holidays.
These are very realistic tips that will allow you to have an awesome holiday season
Eat a solid breakfast and lunch with protein at fat at each meal.
A lot of times when we know we are going to a dinner party or evening event, we skip meals during the day thinking that will save calories so we can enjoy all the party fare. The truth is the opposite occurs. By the time we get to the party, we are so hungry that we over eat, often on all the carbs and sweets. We are so hungry that we don't choose our food wisely. What comes next is often we feel unnecessary guilt over it.
Eating during the day keeps our blood sugar levels even. Protein and Fat keep us full longer and balance out our blood sugar so we are not starving when we get to the party.
Schedule Your Workouts for the Morning
Holiday Parties and activities usually take place in the evening. So if you exercise after work, that is likely to fall by the wayside. Rather than end up missing most of your workouts, adapt your routine to incorporate working out in the morning instead.
Maybe you are not able to get in the same amount of workouts but even if you can only do one or two mornings, you won't regret it. Whereas you might regret not doing anything at all.
If that is not possible, take a walk during lunch, or do 10 minutes of exercise on your break. Push Ups and Chair Air Squats can be done in the office. So even if you have to cut back on your exercise, you will feel better getting in a few minutes here and there rather than nothing at all.
Prepare Snacks for the day
Holidays mean office desks are laden with cookies and treats during the holidays. Office kitchens are decked with popcorn and goodies as well. It can lead to mindless eating, where we are not even hungry but find ourselves munching away;.
Preparing some healthy snacks like fruit, veggies or nuts can also keep us satiated so the tins of treats are not as tempting.
Drink 100 ounces of water each day
Most of us are dehydrated and don't even know it. Over time this can lead to a broken thirst mechanism where we think we are hungry when we are actually thirsty. Drinking water is so important for all of our bodily functions from transporting nutrients, excreting wastes and improving the look and feel of our skin. Drinking water before eating has also been shown reduce the amount of food we consume and increase satiety from a meal.
Personally I bring a 64 oz flask of water with me wherever I go. This allows me to always have the water handy. It also gives me a barometer of how much water I am drinking. There is no way I will remember how many glasses of water I have so this takes the guess work out of the equation.
Eat Mindfully and Slowly
Enjoy what you choose to eat. I am a big fan of the 80/20 rule. Strive for 80% healthy food and then don't sweat the rest. However, during the holiday season, there are goodies and sweets everywhere. So my advice is that if you are going to enjoy a sweet, savor it. Enjoy it slowly. Eat it with intention. Eating slowly, along with having protein and fat at each meal, will reduce the tendency to overeat. It's okay to have a glass of egg nog, or those delicious peanut butter cookies with the Hershey's Kisses on top. Honestly most of us will feel a little left out if we are the only one in the group
Wait 10 Minutes Before Having Seconds
It takes a few minutes for your stomach’s "I’m getting full" signal to get to your brain. By waiting a few minutes this gives a chance for your body to recognize whether you are full. Honor your hunger cues. Ask yourself if you are still hungry. Rate your hunger on a scale of 1-10. If you are at a 7 or above, skip that extra helping.
Pay Attention to What Really Matters The holidays can get insanely busy. Make your holiday focus on family, friends and the joy of giving.
I hope your find these tips are helpful and realistic in keeping to your health and fitness routine in tact during all the holiday festivities.
Even if you can not do all of them, pick one or two and feel empowered adding them to your days this holiday season. Run with what you can and feel great about yourself!
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