Holiday season is almost here.. a time when your regular routine is hijacked by family dinners, buffet tables, large intakes of alcohol and plenty of baked goods. How can you embrace the spirit of these holidays and still succeed with your fitness goals and toned figure intact? Just follow these helpful tips to keep you in the safe zone.
1. Have high-protein appetizers
Thinking of showing up to that holiday party on an empty stomach to make room for more samplers? If you do this , you’ll be more likely to indulge in foods that don’t mesh well with your fitness routine. You’ll also be tempted to eat more than usual if you’ve been skipping meals all day for the occasion. Instead, have a quick protein shake or protein bar before you leave. Protein helps keep you full, satisfied, and in control of your cravings.
2. Be strategic about where you stand
The holidays are a great oportunity for reconnecting with friends and family that you haven’t seen in a while. And yet, many people plant themselves by the food table for the night, instead of engaging with others. If you want to do your waistline a favor, grab a snack, move on, and start chating with your loved ones. You’ll be less likely to go back for seconds and thirds, and you’ll walk away with better memories. Bottom line: While food can contribute to a great party, it shouldn’t be the focus of it.
3. Pack healthy alternatives
Whether it’s your boss’s Christmas cookies at the office or a greasy side dish at your friend’s party, cheat foods will be all around you this season. The true test will be whether you choose to engage or not. An easy way to resist temptation is to always have a healthy snack available – in your purse, office drawer, or wherever the holidays take you. While you don’t have to completely deprive yourself of every single occasion, going the healthy route , for example with a high-protein bar , will always pay off in the end.
4. Grab your water bottle
Drinking water is another great way to feel full and satisfied so you don’t go to town on holiday treats. It also keeps your body hydrated, which can offset feelings of sluggishness and help you look your best. So, skip the sodas, juices and other high-calorie beverages and keep a water bottle on hand at all times. It may not be as glamorous as a champagne or wine glass, but it’ll be a refreshing alternative for your figure.
5. Go easy on alcoholic beverages
Speaking of champagne, the holidays can turn into one long drinking binge if you let them. Between toasts at dinners and wine bottles received as gifts, alcohol is like the guest that always shows up. While it’s fine to enjoy some of the festivities, moderation is key. Drinking too much not only adds instant calories to your day; it can weaken your resolve when it comes to food choices. The more you drink, the more you want to snack. By sticking with one or two glasses per event, you can keep your fit food judgement on track.
6. Become a picky eater
If you were ever called this as a child, it probably wasn’t a compliment. But when it comes to eating for your fit body, a little pickiness is a plus – especially during the holidays. If you know you’re going to allow yourself some small indulgences, decide what you’re willing to sacrifice to get them. For example, maybe you’ll skip a serving of pasta knowing you want to enjoy some dessert after. Even better, try to eat lean protein, fruits, and veggies before anything else. They’ll help fill you up faster, and are generally lower in calories. Bonus tip: eat from a small plate to “trick” yourself into eating smaller portions.
There’s so much happening over the holidays, and it all seems to go by so fast. One minute you’re thinking what to buy for your relatives or friends, the next minute you’re already taking down the Christmas tree. In the craziness of it all, it can be tempting to put your workouts on hold. However, the best thing you can do is maintain at least a semblance of your regular exercise routine. If you can’t make it to the hour-long class you usually hit, try to squeeze in a quick 30-minute run or weights workout. Every little bit helps. It’s not just about burning calories and maintaining muscle tone. It’s about keeping up the exercise habit, so you can stay motivated for the long haul. Similarly, try to stick to your usual sleep schedule. Most of us eat more when we’re tired, so rest up if you want to resist those weight-packing portions.
8. Focus on the future
Just think… January is only a few weeks away. Almost everyone else you know will be starting a new fitness plan, maybe even for the first time. But you? You’ve already got a leg up on them. You’ve been eating right and working out for a while. So why hinder your results now? If you stay focused on your goals and keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll be way ahead of the pack in January. Again, it doesn’t mean you need to completely deprive yourself during the holidays. It just means that every choice you make should be purposeful. It’s knowing where you are now, where you want to be tomorrow, and how you’re going to get there. Your future silhouette will thank you!