The holiday season is quickly approaching with travel and gift shopping in full swing, holiday parties every weekend and delicious food everywhere. It can also be a daunting time for anyone who is trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
With this season encouraging a lack of exercise to overindulging, you may be thinking it’s impossible to stay on track with fitness through the holidays. Here are five tips to help you stay on track and enjoy your holiday season to the fullest.
One of the easiest ways to make sure you stay on track during the holiday season is to plan your meals in advance. If you have an evening event, try to make healthier choices throughout the day so you don’t feel guilty indulging in unhealthy snacks at the party. A big mistake people make is skipping meals during the day and not eating at all until the event. This will only leave you feeling more hungry and more likely to overindulge. I suggest eating a large, healthy meal before you go, which will curve any cravings. Or, if you are attending a potluck-style party, choose a healthier meal or side to bring for everyone to enjoy.
Keep it simple. This can mean quick and easy home workouts or shortening your workout at the gym. Remember, anything is better than nothing, and it’s also the key to keep you consistent throughout and after the holiday season. Most importantly, this time is meant to be spent with family, and getting them involved in staying active can be a lot of fun.
This may be the last thing you’re thinking of as you’re running around and trying to find those last-minute gifts or ingredients for that perfect holiday meal. Even so, water is essential for your overall health and staying on track this holiday season. Water helps your body function properly and can help you feel more full so you are less likely to overeat. It is recommended to drink between a half-ounce and ounce per pound you weigh in water per day. Stay hydrated!
When you’re filling up your plate with all of the yummy holiday food, make sure to go heavy on the veggies and protein. I recommend that about three-fourths of your plate be full of veggies or fruit and protein. Veggies and proteins are packed with nutrients, and both help you feel and stay full longer.
Staying on track this holiday season doesn’t mean perfection, eating only chicken and broccoli, daily hour-long workouts or avoiding parties so you don’t “mess up.” It just means you have to find a balance. Maybe that means eating cleaner around holiday parties so you can indulge during them or cutting out cheat days so you can indulge in the occasional treat throughout the week. The same goes for your workouts during this time. Maybe they won’t be the hardest or longest workouts you’ve done, but they simply help you maintain your activity levels.
Making a plan for your meals and fitness is a great way to maintain balance. Keep healthy meals or snacks prepared to have on hand. Plan to maintain your healthier meal choices around holiday get-togethers, and the same goes for your workouts. If you know you have a tight schedule on certain days, plan to have an at-home workout handy or have those as your rest days and get to the gym on the other days. Creating balance through the holidays will keep you on track with your consistency into the New Year without any guilt.
The holiday season does not need to be an endless loop of letting yourself go and feeling overwhelmed with guilt, nor should it be about food deprivation. You can still have fun without ditching your healthy habits or worrying about losing all of the progress you’ve worked so hard for. Enjoy the holiday season, and try to make healthy choices for you and your family – but remember, it is not about perfection. Remember why you started, and keep working toward your goals every day. Happy Holidays!
About the Author
Meagan Germaine is a competitive bikini athlete in the WBFF and NPC. Germaine is passionate about empowering women to be mentally tough, learn how food is life, and how to be their own body goals. Germaine currently works as a women’s fitness coach and is a certified elite trainer at her company, Megs Body Shop.