It’s December. The month that is associated with sweet treats, special dinners, parties, drinks and gatherings with friends and family like no other month. A month when a healthy lifestyle can get shoved to the very back of the bus. But it doesn’t have to. With a little preparation, planning and just a bit of self control you can maintain your healthy habits. First of all, don’t beat yourself up for getting off track once in awhile during the holiday season. Allow yourself some fun too.
Try to stick to the “everything in moderation” mantra as much as possible during this time. Go ahead try the dips, sweets, cheese balls and all the appetizer table has to offer but stick to just a few of the less healthy choices. Choose more fruit and veggies than deep fried or sweet treats. Consuming something sweet actually makes you want to go for more. Try something more savoury after a sweet morsel to combat the craving. Move away from the table. If you locate close to the appetizers it is very easy to consume several without thinking. This risk increases with the consumption of alcohol. Pour wisely. Consume water throughout your evening as well to help limit the alcohol calories which, when in excess, will be stored around your mid section. Consuming at least one large glass of water before bed will help avoid a headache later.
Include exercise in the “everything in moderation”. If you have less time available to do your usual workout, don’t skip it, just do less. Tabata or HITT or circuit workouts that are short on time but tough to do are great for this time of the year. Even fitting just 10 minutes of an at home workout first thing in the morning can be beneficial. Or try a 20 minute yoga stretch routine before bed You’ll feel better, physically and mentally for having done some exercise rather than none at all. If you have a busy holiday party schedule you may have to write your workouts on the calendar as well. Make an appointment with yourself and keep it. Plan activities to do with the kids during their school vacation to help keep the whole family active. Schedule a brisk walk or run with a workout buddy for the morning after a party. It may seem tough to do but the fresh air will clear your head, the buddy will keep going and you will feel so much better than staying on the couch. Don’t forget to hydrate with water before and during the activity and fluid with some electrolytes after, especially if it is an hour or more in duration.
If you do get off track during the holidays, don’t fret. Don’t even think of going on a “diet’! Just get back on track with healthy eating habits you can maintain combined with a regular exercise plan. I’m sure every gym in the area will have a special in January to entice you to get into a fitness plan. Also keep in mind that we can gain more weight between New Year’s and Christmas than the other way around!