One of the most common questions I get every year, is how to stay on track for the holidays. Boozy holiday parties, more hectic schedules, and high-calorie holiday meals can throw us off our game. So how do we deal? Here are some of my top tips for staying sane and surviving the temptations from Thanksgiving to the New Year.
Plan…and plan to adjust the plan!
When we talk about the holidays, we aren’t just talking about the five or so actual holidays, we are talking about the six-week holiday season. While it might be tempting to just enjoy it and get back to health in the new year, this only puts us further behind and makes things harder when January rolls around.
We know that there will be parties, family celebrations, company dinners, and more. Although things may be busier, try to stick to your normal routine as much as possible. But, be flexible when things need to be adjusted. Get out your calendar and in addition to any special holiday activities, schedule (or reschedule) your normal activities. If you see that company Christmas drinks conflict with your usual workout class, make alternative arrangements ahead of time like getting up an hour earlier to attend a class before work or taking a lunchtime walk. Exercise doesn’t have to be an hour, nor does it have to be at the gym or in a class. A quick 20-minute home workout (see below) can be a great way to save time on a hectic day when you just can't fit in a normal session.
It’s okay to splurge every now and then.
If Christmas turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie are some of your favorite foods, then plan to have them. Save your indulgences for the things you really want and will enjoy. This makes these meals part of your plan and avoids the “what the hell?" effect when you say “well, I’ve already blown it and eaten three Christmas cookies, I may as well really enjoy it and finish the whole tray!” You’ve planned for this indulgence and so you stay right on plan for your next meal.
Staying on track during the holidays, doesn’t mean perfection, it’s about balance. Knowing that you need to eat a bit cleaner around holiday parties so that you can indulge for a special occasion keeps things on an even keel. Knowing that exercise is not all or nothing allows you to stay consistent even though it may not be your normal routine. Which circles back to Tip#1: plan it and be flexible!
Find out what Stacey's favourite cheat is and how she stays on track during the