Whether it’s a buffet of sweets and treats at your office party, your mom’s famous tamales at your family gathering, or cocktails at your girl’s night out, the holidays are filled with about a million ways to find yourself on the naughty list when it comes to eating healthy. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Don’t destroy in a month what you’ve worked hard for all year. Here are a few of our strategies for staying on track and enjoying happy, healthier holidays.
He Said/She Said: Staying On Track During The Holidays
No Gym, No Problem: A lot of us travel during the holiday season to visit family and friends. But don't let the fact that you don't have access to your favorite workout studio or gym keep you from breaking a sweat. You have everything you need to get your sweat on no matter where you are--it's called your body! There are plenty of great workouts you can do in your hotel room that require zero equipment. Check out the SCULPT section of our website for a few workouts. Short on time? Studies have shown that you can burn up to 15 calories per minute during a Tabata workout, a 4 minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Workout) program.
Just Do It: During this time of year it's easy to use the holidays as a reason to justify not eating well or skipping out on the gym. My favorite excuse? "It's bulking season right?" Between the numerous holiday parties or the piles of cookies and candies that will be waiting for you at the office, sometimes it's easier to just quit. But don't let all the progress you've made in 2018 end with a sugar crash---end the year and start the new one off feeling great. It's okay to indulge, but plan ahead and commit to working out a few days a week---set a goal thats attainable with your holiday schedule, but make sure it's more than just once a week ;)
Get Enough ZZZ's: It's not only about how much you're eating or working out, it's also about how much sleep you're getting. Rest is essential for the recovery of your body and mind. If you expect to exercise, work and hit a holiday party in the same day, make sure you get enough sleep the night before. Lack of sleep has an immediate impact on how your body feels, and that can quickly add up throughout the season if you don't make rest a priority.
Pregame Your Party: One of the toughest things for me is a holiday party with a buffet of appetizers, finger foods, and sweet treats. I can graze for daaaaays! My strategy is to pregame that party by making sure that I’ve filled up on healthy, nutrient dense foods throughout the day so that I’m not “hangry” when I get there. I also make sure I’m good and hydrated. I typically drink a ton of water every day, but on days where I know I’ll be tempted I up my intake even more. Finally, I try not to just stand around the buffet. I put a couple of snacks on a plate and then go mix and mingle.
Know Your Weakness: For me, it’s anything sweet. Give me Christmas cookies, toffee, fudge, or my friend’s insanely delicious “crack cake” (one bite and you get it)…and I just can’t help myself. If you’re the type of person who can have one sweet and be done with it—then first, we can’t be friends and second, choose your favorite ONE and enjoy the hell out of it—just not at every party! But if you know that one cookie will lead to you standing in front of an entire cake in your kitchen at midnight with a fork in your hand (not that I’d know ANYTHING about that), better to avoid it altogether.
Cocktail Calories Count: One of the biggest mistakes I see people making during the holidays is overindulging in holiday “spirits.” I’m all for raising a glass to a new year, but remember that all calories count—even the ones you sip. You might be surprised to find that skipping dessert for drinks can often add up to more calories than if you’d just gone ahead and had the sweets. Plus, the more you drink, the less likely you are to make good choices when it comes to food. So not only are you consuming extra calories at the bar, you may end up consuming them at the table too. Enjoy the celebrations—but say “Cheers” to moderation!