The big day is almost here, are you ready?! With all of this holiday hectic-ness (just made up that word cuz it sounded appropriate;) I know how easy it is to lose sight of our health & fitness goals. With that in mind, I'm reposting my thoughts I posted at Thanksgiving (updated) on how to plan for the holiday AND not completely fall off the fitness wagon.
And at the end, there's a little workout video to get you moving!
Ah, yes, the day after. I know I go big at Christmas dinner, as I’m sure you do too. That extra glass of prosecco, that double serving of mashed potatoes, and where I really fall down is at the dessert table! Most of us put on at least 5 pounds over the holiday season, and each year it gets tougher and tougher to take it off. Over time, this can add up to a lot! Not to mention, the stress this type of weight gain/weight loss has on your heart and body. So this year, instead of just falling into that cycle again, let’s take a look at how we can nip that holiday bulge in the bud, BEFORE it starts!
1) HAVE A PLAN!: I definitely enjoy myself at the dinner (and dessert) table during the holiday, don’t get me wrong. And, at this point in my journey, I do it without any remorse. I go into it knowing full well what I’m going to do and I do not beat myself up for it. The biggest reason I don't have any guilt about it is because I have a plan for the Christmas Day Splurge. I prepare beforehand by taking the following steps:
2) GET YOUR WORKOUT IN!: While I’m planning our holiday, I’m also planning my post holiday re-boot. I make sure to schedule time in to workout during the holidays. Often, at this busy time of year, fitness is the first thing to get cut from our schedule. But, getting some regular exercise during the holidays, is actually more critical than at other times of the year. At this time of year, not only do we exercise less, but we are also consuming more food and drink due to holiday parties, stress, etc. Exercise is an excellent stress reliever, not to mention, you're taking time to take care of yourself during what is usually a crazy time of year. Even just a 30 minute brisk walk each day can keep you on track with helping to control your appetite, but it can also help you maintain a sense of sanity during a very hectic time of year. So break out your calendar (or your iPhone) and schedule in some workouts for yourself. These appointments are just as important as any other appt, so don’t skip out on yourself.
3) SHOP FOR THE DAY AFTER!: As far as food goes, when I’m doing our Christmas shopping, I also work in my post Christmas shopping. This means buying lots of fresh greens, some fruit, clean protein and loads of goodies for green smoothies! I plan ahead to break the splurge cycle immediately after Christmas day by making lots of green smoothies on Friday and some clean protein and veggies for dinner. Doing this takes a little discipline, but usually I’m so over food its easier to go cold turkey :) and jump right into some healthy eating. And I find the quicker I reel it in, the easier it is to get back on track.
4) GET ENOUGH SLEEP!: Often our sleep cycle is altered during these days of holiday parties and late night gift wrapping sessions, but it is critical at this time, to make sure you get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can make us irritable, forgetful, impatient and unable to concentrate. It also messes with our immune systems, and with all the germs flying around at this time of year, we need all the immune boosting we can get! Chronic lack of sleep also lowers our control and inhibitions, so we tend to eat more when we're tired. Worst of all, chronic lack of sleep alters our metabolism and affects our hormones. So make sure you are getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night if you can.
If you want to keep your holiday weight in check, try to keep ‘party mode’ to a minimum and get right back on track the very next day with some clean eating, lots of water, and get in your exercise. It is possible to enjoy the holidays AND keep your weight in check, it just takes a little planning and foresight. And if you need any workout ideas, click on over to my YouTube Channel where you’ll find plenty of videos!