Ahh, Christmas time: cookies, eggnog, big dinners, cookies, lots of drinks, cookies… and more cookies… but for someone who is dedicated and motivated to reach their fitness goals, the holidays can be very overwhelming. You don’t want to “fall off track
and “ruin all of your progress,” right?
Well, I’m sure you’ll be happy to hear that you can’t “ruin progress” by indulging a bit on the holidays. You can’t “reverse” progress from a couple of big dinners and drinks. However, here are some tips to allow you to feel your best, “stay on track” and still indulge this holiday season.
- Food Will Always Be There
“It’s the holidays, who cares!” *Eats 4 boxes of pizza*
Why is there this stigma that we have to eat until we can’t breathe during holiday dinners? We go up for 2nd’s and 3rd’s just because the food is available to us. My tip to you is this: just because it’s the holiday season does not mean you have to over-consume. Eat what you are craving, have enough to satisfy you, and listen to your hunger cues. Do not eat just because the food is there, do not over-consume just because “it’s the holidays.” Listen to your body, recognize WHY you’re eating (hunger, boredom, or because everyone else is), and understand what you are craving… food will always be there.
2. Plan Your Gym Time Accordingly
Before your holiday, ask the gym what their hours will be. Find out when they are opening/closing or what classes they will be offering. If you feel like getting in a workout, at least you can plan ahead of time when you will be going. For example, if Christmas dinner is in the evening, maybe get a workout in that morning or the day before.
Now, you do not HAVE to workout. If you are going out of your way, re-arranging plans, and stressing out about your gym time.. don’t go! IT IS OKAY. Family time and memories > some squats and cardio.
3. Able to Get In a Workout? Lift HEAVY.
PUT. THAT. FOOD. TO.WORK.
Let those extra calories fuel you through a heavy lift. I would pick your muscle/s of focus (ex. mine are glutes) or a large body part (legs or back) and lift HEAVY. Your body is going to efficiently use that food for energy, you’ll have the be able to push an extra rep/up your wight (essential to build muscle… remember progressive overload…) and those muscles will GROW! Rather than feeling guilty over food, understand that it can actually be very beneficial to your muscle-building journey.
4. Plan Ahead
If you know you are having a large dinner, I would eat relatively light throughout the day. Don’t forget water, either!
*THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO IS NOT EAT*
This will lead to over-compensation later on, like we talked about before. Just keep it light: keep your water intake consistent through the day, have a small breakfast with some eggs and vegetables, maybe a protein shake later on, a few appetizers, then enjoy your dinner/dessert with whatever you desire!
Remember, at the end of the day, its calories in VS calories out. So balance out your calories accordingly: eat light around your biggest meal/indulgence.
5. ENJOY YOURSELF.
The holiday’s come around once a year. You will not diminish or “ruin” progress by enjoying drinks and food with your loved ones. Simply enjoy yourself, have fun, and you’ll get back on track when you can.
This is what makes this healthy lifestyle maintainable. Is it truly “healthy living” if we don’t allow ourselves to indulge here and there? Are we really practicing longevity if we constantly feel guilty or restrict ourselves?
I hope you have a BEAUTIFUL Holiday filled with family, friends, love, and lots of food!