It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most tempting. The holidays bring family get-togethers, holiday parties and lots of delicious food and drinks.
While enjoying the occasional treat isn’t going to immediately undo the hard work you’ve been putting into your fitness and nutrition, consistently indulging throughout the season will. To stay on track, it’s important to have an action plan in place. Use these tips to find balance during the holiday season and beyond.
Keep a food journal: Calories can be sneaky, and they add up quickly. If you write down what and how much you ate, it gives you a clearer picture of how much you’re actually consuming during the day and where you have room to improve and do better the next day.
Eat beforehand: Most poor eating choices happen when hunger strikes and there isn’t a better option around. If you know you have an event to go to and think you’ll be tempted to make unhealthy decisions, plan to eat a healthy meal or snack beforehand so you’re not tempted by hunger. If you don’t have time to eat a full meal, pack a snack, such as an apple or cheese stick, in your car or purse.
Stay on top of your exercise routine: Instead of using the holidays as an excuse to slack off and indulge, use this time of the year to step up your fitness and get into a consistent routine. Each time you make it into the gym, you’re reinforcing good habits and making it more likely that you’ll stick with them long term.
Give it a second thought: Everyone deserves the occasional treat, and going to the extreme of depriving yourself of all indulgences may cause you to burn out. Instead of absent-minded snacking, be mindful of what you’re eating and take an extra second to decide if it’s actually worth it. Instead of reaching for that extra slice of pie, try reaching for a delicious protein-packed smoothie instead.
Focus on portion control: During the holidays, buffets and potlucks can make it way too easy to overload your plate and lose touch with what a reasonable portion size is. Don’t let bottomless dishes get you; fill up your plate with smaller portions and eat slowly to gauge how full you are before going for seconds.
Load up a balanced plate: When you pretend you don’t see the salad at your holiday dinner, you’re only punishing yourself. Load up on a healthy amount of greens, proteins and healthy fats to balance out carbohydrates and sweets on your plate.
Sometimes it just takes a little bit of extra accountability and motivating to get through the holiday season. Our team of expert Elite Personal Trainers is here to support you and help you stay on track. Schedule a free consultation with Team Energy today!