With the holiday season upon us, the parties and festivities have likely already started. And, you know what that means? If you aren’t careful, you could start packing on the pounds. From baking cookies with the kids to the loads of treats floating around the office, having a strategy for navigating all these extra calories is essential. While staying on track with your health during the holidays may sound daunting, you’ll feel better about yourself, be in a better mood and look great at all of those parties if you stick to some simple rules. Already overwhelmed? Don’t be. Here are a few tips for staying fit and healthy over the holidays.
Tips for Staying Fit & Healthy over the Holidays
Have a plan. Take a look at the calendar and evaluate the holiday season. How many parties do you have on the schedule? Which days will you need to ramp up your exercise and which days can you scale back a bit? When you know what’s coming, you know how to plan – both from a nutritional and exercise perspective.
Pack healthy snacks and lunches for the office. Despite all the temptations at the office, if you come prepared it’s one of the easiest places to avoid and resist all the snacks and unhealthy items. Pack a lunch every day loaded with leafy greens, lean meats and healthy crunchies – like apple slices and carrot and celery sticks. When you feel the urge, break out your healthy snacks and have a huge glass of water – you’ll be full in an instant.
Before you head to a party, eat a healthy snack. Heading to a party when you’re super hungry is the easiest way to pack on unwanted pounds because your tendency is to head straight to the cheese plate. Rather than mindlessly eating loads of calories, fill up on something healthy first – like almond butter on a slice of sprouted bread or a couple of turkey roll ups. The protein will help keep you feeling full and will help you avoid mindless snacking.
If you want to have dessert, just go for a few small bites. You don’t have to avoid it all entirely, but rather let yourself taste a few of the delicious holiday treats. Just have a bite or two – and then walk away from the desserts. You can do it!
Make exercise a priority. Especially on the days when you’re party bound, finding time to get your daily steps in is essential to staying fit throughout the holiday season. Making that extra bit of effort to get up early will make all the difference when it comes to feeling great no matter how many parties you attend in a week. If you can’t make it to the gym, throw on your sneakers and hit the pavement each morning with a brisk walk or a light run. Just 30-60 minutes of getting that heart pumping each day will leave you feeling great.
Don’t beat yourself up if you get off track – it’s OK, it’s the holiday season after all! If you eat a few extra calories or have a bit too much to drink, get up the next morning and lace up those running shoes – it’s time to head to the gym or head outside to get moving.
Do you have a plan for making health and fitness a priority during the holidays?