If you’re like most of my clients, staying motivated through the holidays is tough. There’s a lot to do and exercising seems like the last thing on your list. To make it even worse, healthy eating is often put on hold. Every party, office kitchen and even home seems to have high calorie, high sugar treats that flaunt themselves at you until it’s hard not to sabotage your weight loss program because of their appeal. Here are some holiday tips that can help you make it through without weight gain and even some weight loss.
Create a schedule.
There’s a lot to do and so little time, make sure the most important things are finished and if there’s time left, enjoy it. Your workout should be the first thing you fill in on your schedule. It burns off the stress of the holidays and leaves you with more energy. Consider it as you would any medication. It has to be used on a regular basis to do any good. Block out your gym time first! Things will come up, so leave a block of time every day for the unexpected. You can always use it for little tasks you hoped to accomplish later.
Balance healthy eating and some indulgence.
You don’t have to feel deprived over the holidays, you just have to be a little restrained. Eating healthy most of the time and indulging in your favorite treats occasionally can improve your holiday mood and won’t take a huge toll on your weight loss or health goals. Fill up on the healthiest options at parties, but save a little room for one or two small servings of your favorite treats. Eat healthy meals at home and save the cheat days for parties.
Get plenty of sleep.
Yep, it is the time to be merry, but also the time to be exhausted. Trying to find the right gifts, decorating the house, preparing treats and meals for guests can take a lot out of you. It can mean working late into the night, too. How can you sleep with so much to do? Get help from your family or do less. Prioritize and give yourself a curfew at parties. Create a schedule that includes a consistent bedtime. When you get adequate sleep, you’re far more likely to go to the gym and far less likely to try to boost your energy level with sugary treats.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking a cold glass of water is far easier when the sun is shining and it’s hot. When it’s rainy and chilly, people often miss the cue that they’re thirsty. In fact, they often mistake it for hunger. Drink plenty of water throughout the holiday season.
- Prepare twice as much for dinner and store meals in the freezer for the next week or plan meals that use the leftovers.
- Have healthy snacks already prepared in the refrigerator. Veggies and dips, cut fresh fruit and other delights can be ready for those times when you want to nibble.
- Have short workouts ready to use. For those super packed days, be prepared with a workout you can do anywhere that takes ten to fifteen minutes. You can get as much benefit from three ten minute workouts as you can from a 30 minute one.