5 TIPS TO KEEP YOUR HEALTH IN CONTROL
THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
After last week I felt just blah! After several days of eating, drinking, and just overall putting my health and fitness to the side, I had to readjust my mindset to get back into my normally healthy routine. I’ve said before that I am not one for drastic diets/measures and that I am all about balance, and this time of year is no different.
This time every year I get a flashback of myself in my early 20’s at the height of my eating disorder when I would barely eat any of the holiday meals and missed out on hours of time with my family because I was working out for hours on end instead. I will always advocate that you enjoy yourself! Especially during the holidays, which includes spending time with your family and friends. This post is merely a few tips and tricks that I use to not let it all get out of hand. Eat and enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner! Go out with friends for your office party, but you don’t have to use it as an excuse or reason for letting everything go for weeks-on-end, just because you will get going again on Jan 1.
While this isn’t a part of the list, my first and biggest piece of advice would be to wake up and GET BACK TO IT! So the morning after a big holiday party, wake up and get going, literally. Get moving! Get back in the gym, make your healthy breakfast smoothie that you usually make. Whatever that usual healthy behavior is, GET BACK TO IT! I think the biggest reason this time of year gets a bad rap is because people use the holidays as an excuse to “undo” from Thanksgiving until the New Year. Yes, enjoy yourself! You just don’t have to let it get away from you for four weeks.
STAY HYDRATED – We have all heard the research that our hunger and poor eating decisions at times doesn’t have to do with actual hunger. And I think because it’s not hot out, we are often times drinking hot tea, hot coffee, or a holiday cocktail instead of hydrating ourselves. Focus on pure hydration, especially on the days that you know there could be temptations: a party, treats, etc.
FOCUS ON SUGAR – We all know how bad sugar is for you. It is one of the worst toxins that we put into our diet on a consistent basis. And no time is worse than the holidays. Friends bring you homemade cookies as a hostess gift, coworkers bring leftover cake that their family made, you take your kids to a gingerbread house/cookie making party. SUGAR IS EVERYWHERE! And that will set our tastebuds off on a poor trajectory. If you minimize or eliminate one thing from your diet this next month, make it desserts/sweets. Your mind and your appetite will have an easier time staying on your usual routine.
INCREASE YOUR PROTEIN + FIBER INTAKE – the most filling things that you can eat should be the first things that you eat. If you’re at a dinner party or out to dinner with your friends/family, get a huge fibrous salad to start. Have a holiday party later? Eat some great lean protein for a late lunch to keep you full as long as possible. Again, this time of year the recipes aren’t what we’re used to: butter, sour cream, heavy, cream, oh my! So when you can, give yourself the opportunity to fill up with the good stuff first!
ALWAYS EAT BEFORE A PARTY – If you aren’t sure if there will be dinner, or headed somewhere you know will just have appetizers/finger foods, always always always eat before going! Do not, I repeat, DO NOT go into this tempting situation on an empty stomach. That is a recipe for disaster. And when you do eat that pre-party meal, make sure that you are following rule #1 and #3.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR DRINK – What do I mean by that? We all know that alcohol has sugars, and cocktails especially! People love a seasonal cocktail, so with one drink you could be heading down a slippery slope to breaking rule #2. I’m not saying don’t drink at all! Trust me, I had plenty to drink this past week, but pay attention to how much and what. Is your normal go-to libation heavy in sugars and mixers? Maybe switch it up for a less sugary option! Let’s not forget those late-night meals that we all tend to have when we’re buzzed. Not the healthiest options, usually.
While this isn’t an equation for losing weight, or having a perfectly healthy and lean holiday, they are small things that you can do to minimize that blah feeling and set yourself up to go into the New Year feeling the best you can!
**Right now fitness studios are starting to blast out cyber week and holiday sales not only to take advantage of the sale-frenzy going on, but to get people into their studios before and after Jan 1 for their new years resolutions. So if you have a studio/class that you love? Sign up a few extra times this next month using those sales to keep yourself moving and active during this time of year. Have a new studio you want to try? Do it now before the craziness of the resolution season is upon us!