Holidays are the time of year we gather with our family and friends. Yet, it’s also notorious for rich, calorie-laden foods. For many, the holidays mean unintended gains and falling off track with fitness goals. What if there were small, manageable ways to stay on track and still indulge?
To indulge or not to indulge
Some believe a successful weight loss or fitness plan means depriving yourself. Yet, it need not be that way. When you plan ahead and follow a few simple tips, you can protect all your hard work. Here are twelve easy ways to stay fit during the holidays.
Get your Zzz’s
We all stay up too late at one point or another and reach for the biggest cup of Joe we can find the next morning. The temptations, following a string of bad decisions awaits us. We’re too tired to hit the gym or cook at home. Ordering takeout is easier. Before you know it, the pounds pile on. Adequate sleep helps you overcome these hurdles and minimizes stress.
Manage your stress
Finding little ways to limit your stress this holiday season can make for a healthier, fitter you. Yes, exercise has can reduce stress, so make sure you schedule some ‘you’ time. But, if the hustle and bustle gets to you, all is not lost. Even short bursts of activity in the airport, hotel, or mom’s house can improve your mood.
Don’t go it alone
Whether your goal is weight loss or fitness, tackle it with a buddy. Having someone to walk the walk and talk the talk with you can encourage you. Accountability matters.
Indulge in a little holiday fun
Winter need not be blah. Many cities and towns host holiday or winter activities including the following:
- 5K walks or runs
- Winter plunges
- Skiing, and much more
Check out what your area has to offer and indulge yourself. Or, better yet, invite your friends and family to join you and go as a group!
Whether you need it to during activity or to stave off hunger, hydration is a powerful tool. It is often said that thirst can mimic hunger signals. Don’t want to risk overeating this holiday? Staying hydrated with low or no-calorie drinks is the key. While water is always the best choice, there are plenty of alternatives to choose from as well. Consider unsweetened or zero-calorie tea. If tea isn’t your thing, try a sugar-free, fruit-flavored drink. If you’re feeling fatigued, IV-Hydration could be another solution to consider.
Always go prepared
Never assume that everyone else will accommodate your dietary needs. Instead, plan ahead and take a few small choices that fit into your nutrition plan with you. That way, if you find the buffet table a little too heavy, you have a backup plan prepared.
Balance your calories
Too often we plan for the main holiday meal and either skip our other meals or treat the day as an all-day binge. Know your calories and keep them in check. There are many apps for smartphones and tablets that will count your calories for you. All you have to do is log your food and drink.
Avoid prolonged sitting
Celebrating the holiday doesn’t mean you have to become a couch potato on a zombie fix. Get up and get moving. Walking around the house, helping set the table, or cleaning up can keep your step counter ticking.
Manage portion sizes
There’s no need to bring measuring cups with you, but keeping your portions in check is vital. Yes, it is one day, but one day can quickly turn into two or three or more. Managing your portion sizes ensures that all your hard work does not go down the drain.
Take a post-meal walk, or better yet, make it a group event. Some families make a post-meal walk a tradition. It’s a great way to get a few extra steps in and boost your mood. The walk need not be a long one. Even a short walk around the block will suffice.
Indulge for one day, not the whole season
It’s okay if you want to sample grandma’s special sweet cherry pie for dessert. But, if offered to take the rest of it home, weigh the pros and cons before you agree.
Keep your goals in check
You are your own best defense in the end. Only you can reach your own health and fitness goals. No one else can do it for you.
Knowing yourself and your habits are half the battle. There’s no need to start fresh. You worked hard to get where you are today and you deserve to reach the finish line. It’s okay to indulge if you don’t overdo it. These simple tips can help you get there.
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