The poor holiday season gets such a bad rap from the fitness industry. Between warnings of holiday weight gain and pressure to not give in to temptation, it’s no wonder so many people find themselves either completely stressed out trying to stay “on track” or ditching their health and fitness goals for a month of bloat and guilt. The holidays should be exciting and fun. A time where you can dedicate more time to friends and family, enjoy your moms famous pies, and drink champagne while laughing until you cry with your besties. NOT a season to turn down party invites because it may ruin your “diet” or an excuse to eat every sweet in sight.
If you’ve been in a stuffing coma over the past three days, you’re not alone. Letting go of our health and fitness goals and occasionally indulging with friends and family is fun and even therapeutic. I love a reset. It helps me refocus, feel energized, and boost motivation. After a day or two of eating higher fat and sugar foods, you may notice a spike in cravings, some bloating, and fatigue. All these symptoms make it really easy to think about diving back into some leftovers. Unfortunately, eating pie for the next month, though tempting, is not a good decision. A better decision? Go back to eating as many raw, whole, unprocessed fruits and vegetables as possible, fill up on lean protein and healthy fats, and fuel with complex carbohydrates. This would be a great time to do the simple and totally free 5-Day Metabolism Jumpstart! This is the plan I use to get back on track after indulging.
Along with temptation, the holidays are BUSY leaving less time for self-care, exercise, and meal prep. It can seem daunting to try and stick to a normal routine. That is, until you see how easy these 5 effortless ways to stay healthy through the holidays are!
1. Get in short bursts of exercise throughout your day.
Even just an hour in the gym can be out of the question when life gets hectic. Instead, set your alarm 40 minutes earlier and get in a quick 30-minute, do-anywhere workout first thing. I have plenty right here! Then take 10-30 minutes of your lunch break to go for a walk and/or do some stretching. End your day with another 10 to 30 minutes of Yoga to help settle down for bed
2. Eat more raw and roasted food.
The quickest meals to make? Those that take little to no prep and cooking! Overnight oats and fruit for breakfast, a big salad for lunch, fresh fruit with Greek or coconut yogurt or veggies with hummus for snacks, and roasted veggies with lean protein for dinner are some of the quickest options. Roasting/baking your vegetables, squash, chicken, fish, etc is the less-mess meal prep option. Preheat, bake, and done! I like to wrap my baking dishes with tinfoil to cut down on dish washing time too.
3. Drink plenty of water.
Staying hydrated helps fend off cravings and false hunger cues, keep your skin clear, maintain energy levels, and keep your digestion regular. Make sure you’re drinking AT LEAST half your body weight in oz (more if you’re exercising). Invest a couple bucks in a 24 oz water bottle fill it up whenever it gets empty, and bring it with you everywhere.
4. Take ten to check in.
Grabbing a holiday cookie whenever your boss asks for a last minute project? Losing sleep worrying? Snapping over the little things? Getting muscle spasms? Being productive is great. But getting lost in the hustle and bustle without taking a moment to be still can set us up for burnout. I like to take at least 10 minutes everyday to check in with myself. I like to practice breathing techniques, guided meditation, gratitude exercises, Yoga, journal, or sit out in nature. It may feel inconvenient to have to slow down at first. But I’m more productive, centered, and focused when I give myself those ten minutes.
5. Put your phone away.
While you’re spending time with friends and family, taking your ten, cooking your meals, getting in your exercise, put the phone away. We easily lose out on being present when we feel impulse to scroll through Instagram, tweet, answer a text message, or Snap our holiday dinners. Knowing what other people are doing isn’t important while you’re creating your own memories. Set designated times where you can engage with the online world and leave the rest of the time to enjoying the precious moments of this holiday season.
How do you stay healthy through the holidays? Tell me in the comment box below.