Be Well Blueprint's Holiday Guide
Get your FREE Nutrition Consult NOW!
Tips and Strategies to keep you happy and healthy this holiday season.
Tips and Strategies to Help You Stay on Track this Holiday Season
The holiday season always seems to bring about its fair share of challenges and stresses that make sticking to your fitness and nutrition program a challenge. Most Americans gain somewhere between 5 and 10 pounds during the holiday season!
If you are someone who is working hard to be mindful of your nutrition, the idea of attending a party or event every weekend might create some anxiety.
In an effort to curb the holiday weight gain and keep everyone from having to play catch up come January, I wanted to give you guys this simple but effective guide that can help you stay on track and anxiety free this holiday season.
Part 1: Changing Your Approach
Understanding and accepting that your approach to eating and training this month may look a little different then normal is going to be the key to your wellbeing. If you go into December knowing that your routine is going to be different then there will be less stress when you veer a little off track. Here are some tips to help you get there.
- Schedule, schedule, schedule!! Your calendar is full of events, gatherings and shopping. Keep your workouts a priority by scheduling them out for the entire month. Treat these classes like any other appointment that you wouldn’t cancel.
- Add in some extra movement daily that you can do anywhere.
- Turn your rest days outside of the gym into a family / friend adventure – get out and hike, snowshoe, ski / snowboard. I know it’s hard to consider these “fun” activities as workouts, but guess what...they are! Relax, enjoy and have fun moving outdoors!
Part 2: Nutrition
The bigger part of the equation of staying on track this holiday season is the food choices you make this month. This time of year presents such a huge challenge for those of us trying to be conscious of our food choices. Not only are we going to parties where there is abundance of sweets and alcohol, but also there tends to be more food in general. Not only watching what we eat, but how much we are eating is going to play a big part in staying on track.
Here are some suggestions for dealing with food challenges this holiday season.
- Plan ahead. Identify the events you have for the month. Plan your meals around these events. Pick one or two events throughout the month where you let yourself just enjoy the moment and not worry about food. Remember for this to be effective you need to keep yourself on track during the rest of the week.
- Switch up some recipes. Cut out extra things like nuts or dried fruit. Swap butter or heavy cream for Greek yogurt or lower fat cream cheese. Ditch anything fried or anything called a casserole, as these are code for high fat and lots of calories.
- Go to dinners and parties with a plan. Never attend an event hungry. Eat a high protein meal before you go. If you aren’t ravenous when the food comes out you will be more likely to make smart choices. Allow yourself to indulge in one thing while you are there that you normally wouldn’t eat / drink, but control your portions.
- Eat Mindfully. Choose healthy options first and allow a small cheat and set boundaries for alcohol.
Part 3: Mindset
Holiday gatherings also mean time around lots of friends and relatives that may have questions, curiosities or negative comments about your healthy lifestyle.
Here are some strategies to deal with criticism and comments.
- Go into these events with an understanding that you choose to do the things you do for yourself and no one else. Be proud of your healthy lifestyles and the choices you make.
- Have a positive mindset. Be patient with those individuals that may criticize or peer pressure you. Be open to conversations about why you do what you do. Maybe you will help change someone else’s mindset.
- Have a support system. Find a friend, relative or coach that can help keep you accountable throughout the holiday season. Talk to this person when you need motivation to stay on track.
- Work on non-confrontational comebacks. Say things like “right now I have specific goals for myself” or “I appreciate your concern, but I am happy with my progress and this extra (insert food or drink here) isn’t getting me closer to my goal”. You can’t be responsible for the things people say to you, but you can control how you react.
I hope that this holiday guide can help you feel assured and confident that you can set yourself up for success this holiday season. One of the biggest takeaways should be that it is okay to not be perfect. Finding the right balance between sharing special moments and focusing on goals is important for a happy holiday season. Don’t be too hard on yourself and enjoy this happy time of year.
Here is to a Happy and Healthy Holiday season!