Stick to Health Regimen During the Holiday
So, you have established a great health regimen, and now the daunting holiday season with multiple dinner parties, busy packed days, and maybe even a vacation is among you. How do you stick to your health regimen during this busy time?
Here are a couple of ideas to keep you on track in terms of fitness.
- Workout in the morning. Start your day with some movement so you don’t need to think about it for the rest of the day.
- Plan out when you are going to work out during the week and schedule it’s in.
- Workout with a friend or family member.
- Lower your expectations. Be realistic that you may not be able to have 90-minute sessions if you are used to that. You may not be able to go as hard, if you have late nights and lower energy. Focus on showing up.
- Track your workouts. Tracking your workouts will help keep you accountable and re-ensure that you are putting in work and sticking to your goals. Furthermore, it may be a good idea to plan your workout beforehand. Having it pre-planned will take the guesswork out, especially if you are feeling lower in energy levels.
Now let’s talk about nutrition!! You may be wondering how you are going to avoid gaining weight and overeating during this time. Before we get into some strategies, I also want to challenge you to ask yourself, what is the worst-case scenario if you do gain a couple pounds and have a little bit more food than usual. As long as you don’t gain an unreasonable amount of weight and if you don’t overindulge to the point of feeling sick, having a few extra bites during the time is okay.
So, what can you do?
- Try to stick to your normal routine as much as possible. If you are going out for dinner, keep breakfast and lunch at the same time, perhaps just decreasing the portion size only by a fraction.
- We want to make sure we are not going to a party hungry. Despite knowing that there will be food at the party, we want to arrive in a place where you are not starving yet not full. This will help you from overeating due to hunger.
- Don’t go long periods of time without eating. Not eating for 4-6 hours can contribute to overeating because you are too hungry to think and know when to stop.
- Drink lots of water during the day. Oftentimes we will eat when we are dehydrated. Aim to have 250 ml of water every hour or two.
- Take your time and chew your food. Put your fork down between bites. Use all your senses when eating. Aim to eat your meal for around 20 minutes.
- Be mindful of how large your plate is. Large plates will give off the perception that you don’t have enough food to fill you up versus a smaller plate. If you have the option, choose the smaller plate.
- Serve yourself a single serving and stick to it. If you serve a small portion, already knowing you’ll go up for more, you may tend to overeat without needing or wanting it.
- Be sure to listen to your body and stop when you are full. Despite the food being really good, if you are full stop. You can always ask for leftovers to take home with you.
- If you are enjoying the food and want to have some more, then serve yourself a small portion and while eating it challenge yourself to go even slower. Being more mindful and enjoying the second helping will help you know when you are indeed done and full and should stop.
- Be sure to get enough sleep. When we are sleep deprived, we often find ourselves mindlessly eating and choosing unhealthier options.
I do want to reiterate the importance of self-compassion during this time. It is okay if you do a little less and eat a little more. As mentioned, be sure to do so with awareness, in a non-judgemental, non-shameful and non-regretful way. Enjoy to the fullest your holiday and have control over your actions.