With the holiday season well under way, there are bountiful opportunities to overindulge on sweets, carbs, and holiday foods, and just as many chances to ‘under-indulge’ at the gym. Staying active and eating well during the holiday season is particularly challenging, but we’ve got some tips for you that might help you button those skinny jeans on January 1st.
1. Try new classes wherever you are
Many studios and gyms run holiday specials, with discounts or bonuses added into packages, so if your local fitness spots are doing them, take advantage! If not, then make a point to try out a new place you’ve always wanted to go to.
If you’re traveling, Google is a wonderful thing! You can almost always get free day passes or free/discounted first-timer classes at local gyms and studios wherever you are during the season.
2. Change your mindset
Often when we think of the holidays, we think of endless amounts of food at the dinner table, open bar holiday parties with trays of delicious food being passed around by servers, and dessert tables that could give you the sugar high of a lifetime. But just because it’s there and it’s free, doesn’t mean you have to overeat.
We often use holidays as an excuse to stuff ourselves and to eat foods that we normally don’t, but you don’t have to think about it that way. Instead, focus on where you are and who you’re with. You’ll end up feeling happier and more connected to the people you’re sharing the holidays with, and you might not even want that second piece of pie… even though it’s there and it’s free.
3. Stay active with family
Encourage your friends and family to go for walks with you after big holiday meals. If you don’t already have Fitbits, they make great gifts and then you can all track your steps together. Make a goal of at least 8,000 steps a day over a period of a few days, and plan a fun group activity, like bowling or a spa day, at the end to celebrate you hitting the goal.
4. Drink more water and less sugar
You’ve heard this all before, but drinking lots of water will not only make you feel better, it’ll help you feel fuller. And when confronted with an open bar at a holiday party or access to Dad’s liquor cabinet at home, try to stay away from the sugary drinks and mixers, like margaritas, long island ice teas, and anything with a lot of sour mix, juice, or sodas.
My personal favorite drink combo is Stoli Raz, club soda, with a splash of cranberry juice: light, refreshing, and low in calories.
5. Set revised goals
Instead of a weight loss goal, or a strict diet goal, set more reasonable and attainable goals. Most people have trouble sticking to their regular workout regimen and eating habits during November and December, so think more realistically.
For example, your revised eating goal for the season could be to just be more mindful about what you eat. This will help take off the pressure of being perfect, while still giving you something to work towards.
Written by Ros