Let the turkey be the only thing stuffed this holiday season! Make your health and fitness a priority this year and sleigh the holidays with these 12 tips:
1. Plan Ahead
While the holidays are the perfect time to enjoy yourself, it’s definitely not a green light to eat everything in sight. Doing so could totally derail your healthy body progress, not to mention, make you feel pretty crummy. Make it a point look ahead in your calendar and pinpoint events and get-togethers you have coming up. Make those occasions the ones where you plan to eat what you’d like. That way if you know you have something important to attend this weekend, you can choose to stick to a healthier food choice on the low-key days.
2. Eat a protein rich snack before heading out to a party or gathering
On days where you do have a large meal or event coming up, like Thanksgiving for example, it’s important to stay on your usual schedule before the big feast. This means you should start the day with a healthy breakfast, lunch and even a snack before heading to the event. Avoid “saving up calories” for a large meal later in the day – this can backfire. Think about it – if you show up at an event starving, you’ll be more likely to make poor food choices and overeat in the process. If anything, opt for a protein-rich snack before heading out to the party that will keep your belly full and sustained until you can sit down for the main event. It doesn’t have to be gourmet and can be as simple as grabbing a PlantFusion Protein RTD or making your fave yogurt parfait.
3. Stick to your routine
Most people report weekdays are easy because they are following their routine and schedule. Why not continue this even on days off, like the holidays, to keep you on track and help you avoid any weight gain. Remember, the holidays are not a vacation from healthy eating.
4. Follow the 80/20 Rule throughout the week
The 80/20 Rule means you eat healthy meals 80% of the week, while allowing a handful of less nutritious meals for the other 20% of the time. This gives your brain a mental break while still fueling your body with nutritious foods the majority of the time.
5. Grab a workout or just get outside
While you can’t out train a bad diet, incorporating exercise in to your week can help you make better food choices and feel more invigorated. Plus, studies show that walking outside daily can boost mood and help you maintain your weight – score!
6. Give yourself permission
When we let go of food restrictions your brain can stop obsessing over having those off-limits foods. If nothing is off-limits, this gives you the opportunity to decide for yourself in the moment whether a food is worth having or if there’s a healthier choice that would satisfy your craving. When there are no off-limits foods you know you can always have that food at a later date so you’re better able to say no if you don’t want it.
7. Ditch the All or Nothing attitude
If you spill a drop of wine on your shirt, does that mean you might as well pour the whole bottle on it? You can clean a drop of wine, but the whole bottle…now you’ve really ruined the blouse. The same can be said for food! One meal won’t make you fat, just like one healthy meal won’t make you fit. Don’t throw away your lifestyle and goals because you had one unhealthy meal. Instead, move on and get back to your regularly scheduled programming ASAP.
8. Don’t wait ‘til Jan 1 to get started
It’s always the right time to start a new behavior or routine. If you continue putting off plans to workout and eat right you’ll never reach your goals. If you start today you’ll be that much further along when January 1st arrives.
9. Bring a healthy dish to share
If you’re concerned the meal provided at the party is going to be super unhealthy, you can always bring a healthy dish to share that way you know there will be at least one thing available that’s high on the nutrition list.
10. Change your mindset and your attitude
If you believe you’re going to gain weight over the holidays, you probably will. Instead keep a positive attitude about all the festivities – focus on spending time with loved ones and stick with your healthy routine throughout.
11. Focus on the activities instead of the food
You know how it works, you end up sitting near the table with all the snacks and food; while you’re gabbing away you’re also stuffing your face. Stop - step away from the food. Find another place to park your behind. Or focus on the activities provided instead – if there are no activities, plan to bring one! Here are some fun ideas: bring supplies to make a holiday themed craft with other guests, encourage everyone to head out for a walk before the meal, bring a football and play catch, if there’s music playing – dance, or just get moving and play with the kids!
12. Avoid gifting with food
While everyone loves a good box of Christmas cookies, celebrating with food creates (and feeds) an emotional relationship with food. If you love making things for people, consider making a blanket, frame or other keepsake instead. You may even learn a new skill in the process!