The greatest time of year can very well trigger our greatest fears. We’ve worked so hard all year to achieve our fitness goals just to be faced with the temptation of numerous holiday parties ahead. How can you possibly celebrate without derailing? What if I told you that you DO have control over how you approach the holidays and that there is no need to fear? Below are some of my tips that help me power through this fun time of the year. If you can truly apply these to your lifestyle and change your mindset, then I assure you your New Year’s Resolution won’t be to lose weight (again).
HAVE A PLAN
Holidays usually involve higher calorie consumption than normal so making sure to stay active will help keep that extra weight gain at bay. A weekly workout plan can help you stay motivated and on track. Schedule your workout as though it’s an important meeting you cannot miss. If you make exercise a priority, you will find that you can make the time.
Along with this, have a plan for what your week will look like nutrition wise. If you fail to plan or prep healthy meals, then you’re bound to fall into the trap of eating junk or grabbing whatever you have at hand. Save those treat days for fun holiday parties. If you remain disciplined 80 percent of the time, then occasional indulgences at holiday parties should not throw you off course.
DITCH THE “ALL OR NOTHING” MINDSET
Enjoy a holiday meal, not the whole platter. Treats will always be around. Just because you are faced with them does not mean you have to have an all-or-nothing attitude. On the flip side, restricting is not a good idea either. Although this may sound like it can help avoid getting off track, if you deprive yourself too much you’ll most likely find yourself over-indulging the next time around. Enjoy your events in moderation and don’t let it carry over. If one night leads into another, you’ll find yourself in a constant struggle.
Holidays are all about pot lucks. However, when you’re faced with all but healthy options, you’re left with no choices. Give yourself a choice by contributing the healthier option. There are so many healthy recipes that still taste amazing. My secret to avoiding the temptation of over-indulging during the holidays is filling up on veggies before-hand, so a veggie platter may be a good contribution. This leaves minimal room for all the “bad” stuff. If you’re not on the list to bring a food item, then fill up at home before you arrive. Try this method and I guarantee you won’t be as tempted or able to eat as many calories.
RECOVER AND HYDRATE
When you are low on energy your goals tend to get pushed aside. Getting an adequate amount of sleep and hydration are vital for performing and feeling your best. After a long day’s work, a holiday party, and some alcohol, your body needs proper recovery and hydration. Doing so will not only allow your muscles to heal, but will help you think more clearly and give you more energy as the days go on. Having the right amount of energy will help you make wiser choices when it comes to your fitness goals. The last thing you need after a couple indulgences is to be too tired to work out and prep your meals.
By Claudia Virgil, personal trainer and Team Max Athlete