Lately it seems like everyone I talk to is feeling like they are losing the battle when it comes to health and fitness. Let’s face it, the cards are stacked against us this time of year: the days are darker, the weather is inviting us to stay inside, comfort foods abound and there is no better excuse for get togethers with family and friends than the holidays. There is no denying it, sometimes laying down on the couch to catch a breather seems a lot more enticing than a sweaty workout. I get it! They key to making it through the most tempting time of year is all about mastering your mindset, staying accountable and keeping yourself in check. How do you do that? Here are 5 tips:
- Buddy Up. Pick a friend or a group to help keep you accountable. Decide to maintain, not gain during the holiday season. Sign-up and commit to a fun fitness class or program together, go for a walk or create a challenge – who can do more burpees? You or your cousin Eddie? And what could be better than a little huffing for stuffing with a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot?! The key is, have someone you are showing up for and show up for them.
- Keep. To. Your. Routine! Yes, we ALL have more to do this year. More gifts to buy, more places to go and more people to see but take a minute and put that workout on your schedule and treat it like you would any other day of the year. Just because it’s the holiday season, it doesn’t mean you take a break from being good to yourself. Why do you think the most popular New Year’s resolution is to lose weight and feel great? Plan it all out and STICK TO IT! Stick to your meals and snacks and your consistency will pay off. If you feel like you have more on your plate than you can handle, it’s OK to say no.
- Retreat From the Treats. Listen, the key here MODERATION. Plain and simple. Who wants to go through the holiday season without a taste of some of the treats that go with it? No one. If you are going to a party, bring something healthy that you know you can eat. You can find a healthier alternative to almost anything out there. Those delicious Christmas cookies are irresistible? Then have one! One cookie isn’t going to make or break you but ten will. Work on your portion control a la 21 Day Fix. Have a little bit and be consistent with your workouts.
- Shorter Workouts. We all know that during this time of year especially, there are never enough hours in the day to get it all in. Your workouts shouldn’t be the first to go. You can get a GREAT workout in as little as 30 minutes. Have you ever tried Tabata or HIIT workouts? You can get an intense workout in a short amount of time. Efficiency at its best. You can stream workouts from the comfort of your home and some gyms even offer great 30-minute power-packed classes. You don’t need a lot of time to get a good sweat. With treats lurking around every corner, this is the time of year when exercise should be a non-negotiable.
- Eat Before a Big Events. Holidays are about spending time with the ones you love, NOT about stuffing our faces. Yes, food is an important cultural tradition that brings people together but focus on spending time with each other, not just your plate. Our tendency is to “save up for the big event” and then we consume a massive amount of calories with not a lot of thought as to what and how much we are eating. Eat something healthy, drink a large glass of water and THEN head out to your event. Chances are you will make better decisions because you not ravenous. This is one of those times where it’s ok to spoil your dinner.
And there you have it! Take each day as it comes and try to make the best decisions that you can. In the end, consistency will win out so it’s just a matter of what kind of habits you want to be consistent with. May the force be with you!