How To Stay Fit During The Holidays
When you stick to a healthy, fit lifestyle all year, it’s tough when the holidays come and you lose the progress you’ve made. Skip that cycle this year! There’s no need for New Year’s resolutions promising to get back on track when you never went off track in the first place. Follow this guide to enjoy the holiday festivities while staying fit.
Follow Your Normal Nutrition Plan
It’s easy to let your normal eating habits go to the wind when tasty foods are everywhere, and you feel preoccupied by holiday planning. But sticking to your normal nutrition plan as much as possible will make it easier to continue with it when the New Year comes, rather than facing the roadblock of getting back to a normal routine later. Plus, eating healthy now will give you more energy and help you feel healthier throughout the season. Stock up on extra veggies, whole grains, fruits, and other healthy fare instead of overdoing it on heavy, sugary foods.
Portion Out Indulgences
We don’t want you to sacrifice your enjoyment during this jolly season! Simply stick to the rule of moderation when you indulge in the rich meals and desserts that are traditions of the holidays. Portioning out meals and decadent treats are especially important during this season of abundance. So, enjoy a small piece of that cake at work or gifted cookies, but don’t go overboard. Remember the motivation of sticking to the progress you’ve worked so hard for all year. And balancing out your diet with healthy foods, instead of eating too many indulgences, will help your immunity during this sick season.
Keep Physically Active
While nutrition is essential to a healthy weight, exercise helps you burn those extra holiday calories to follow weight maintenance. Find time within your busy routine to workout, and you’ll gain the added benefits of better mental health and less stress that exercise offers. Also, think about planning activities with your loved ones that keep everyone moving while enjoying each other’s company. Try festive activities like walking around town to see holiday lights, going ice skating, and playing in the snow. This is a great way to focus on healthy fun rather than holiday food.
Go to Bed at a Reasonable Hour
Not getting enough sleep can do far more than make you sleepy. A lack of sleep can interfere with your optimal health and throw off your life in far-reaching ways. For instance, it can make it more difficult for you to concentrate, increase your risk of numerous chronic health conditions, and negatively affect your mental health.
And by not getting enough sleep, this can encourage you to eat unhealthy foods, such as options with too much fat and carbohydrates. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to eat too much food overall, as sleep affects peptides that control appetite responses. A lack of sleep has even been connected to a higher risk of obesity. Plus, sleeping enough will help you feel more energetic to get your exercise session in. Overall, catching enough z’s during the holidays can help you stay fit and support the rest of your health.
Drinking enough water to hydrate your body is always important, and it can help you with your goal to stay fit and healthy during the holidays as well. Taking in enough water can prevent you from becoming dehydrated from salty holiday meals and snacks, since the kidneys need enough water to remove the extra salt. It is also a great tip for eating less and preventing overeating.
Many people tend to travel to be with loved ones for the holidays, which can also lead to dehydration, so be sure to take in extra fluids during a trip. This is especially true if you’re flying to your destination, as a plane cabin has less humidity than normal air that can dehydrate you. By keeping these in mind, you can keep your body in optimal health and restore fluids you lose.
Schedule Your Day
The holiday season gets overwhelming with extra items on your to-do list. That’s what makes it so easy to toss healthy activities aside. But when you schedule your days, you can better find time for both your seasonal activities and your healthy lifestyle. Make time to prepare healthy meals and schedule in regular workouts (see here for a ProForm workout). Scheduling and following a healthy plan can help you prevent stress, but it’s important to include a work/life balance in the schedule to prevent an overabundance of responsibilities that leads to additional stress.
Track Your Activities
In addition to scheduling your activities and responsibilities, it’s smart to track the healthy activities you’re engaging in. Make note of your exercise sessions, including their length and intensity, as well as foods and drinks you consume. This tracking will help you see a pattern of your progress during the holidays. You can see how far you’ve gone off track and what you need to do to get back to your goals. At the same time, tracking might give you the motivation to stick to your goals, so you don’t veer too far from them.
Make Meal Prep a Priority
When you include meal prep within your schedule, you’ll find it easier to stick to a healthy eating routine. Plan out different healthy meals you can enjoy throughout the week. Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean that meal prepping goes out the window.
These could include simple options to throw together such as sandwiches and salads. Then prepare some foods in advance to make, completing each meal quick and easy on a daily basis. Meal prep could include preparing ingredients through peeling, chopping, and other steps. You could also portion out snacks and meals, which will help you eat a healthy amount. Plus, you can cook some meals in advance and freeze portions to grab for later.
When you have meals already made, it will be easier and less time consuming to follow a healthy eating plan rather than giving in to fast food or grabbing whatever treats are in front of you. Within your meal prep, plan to eat light meals before holiday feasts rather than starving yourself all day and then overindulging on rich foods.
Ending the year in a healthy manner is the perfect way to move into the New Year.