January 1st (AKA New Year’s Resolutions) will be here before you know it, so get a head start and set yourself up for success starting now! I’ve come up with ten tips to keep you on track with your fitness and nutrition journey throughout the entire holiday season.
You can… Make a Dish
Offer to make an appetizer or a side dish to bring to the party. Your host and your waistline will appreciate the offer. There are so many ways to turn an unhealthy traditional holiday dish into a healthy one, so have some fun with it and get creative. This way when you get to the party, you’ll at least know that you have one healthy “go to” option. I’ve created a bunch of boards on Pinterest for appetizers and holiday dishes for every season so if you need ideas, go follow Little Warrior Fitness on Pinterest to check them out!
You shouldn’t… Arrive Hungry
One of the biggest mistakes I see women make is fasting all day in anticipation of the party that night. Women think, “I’m going to save all my calories for later” or “I’m going to eat good all day so that I can splurge tonight” and all that does is leave them feeling overly full and miserable. Instead, eat all your meals as if it were any other day. Your body is probably accustomed to getting fed throughout the day, so continue to follow your normal routine that way you don’t arrive famished and ready to inhale a whole plate of cookies.
You should… Control Portion Sizes
This idea piggybacks off the last one. If you arrive hungry, then you’ll most likely overestimate how much food you actually need. It’s tempting to pile on the mashed potatoes and try every dessert when you’re starving! Instead, grab a healthy serving of carbs, fats, and proteins. Your plate might look as simple as this: A baked potato (carb) with butter (fat) and some turkey (protein).
You might only… Make ONE Plate
This is another option to help control your portion sizes. I like to make one big plate of food. When you do this you’ll actually end up eating less than you would if you were going back for seconds and thirds.
You should… Indulge Wisely
I believe you should enjoy the food you eat around the holidays. So choose wisely. If your grandmother has made her secret recipe holiday cookies then choose those! Don’t go for the store bought pie. You can have that any time you want. Indulge in the specialties of the holidays because it’ll make you feel good, create memories, and carry on traditions. Publix cookies and cake can be saved for the rest of the year!
You’ll always… Opt for Protein
When you’re filling your plate opt for protein like turkey, ham, or prime rib. Protein will help with satiety and keep you feeling fuller longer.
You’ll TRY to… Stay Hydrated
During the busy holiday season it’s easy to survive off coffee in the morning as you rush around to get everything done and unwind with a glass of wine in the evening with your family. But make sure you’re drinking water in between. Staying hydrated will help keep your metabolism going, give you some more energy, and prevent you from gaining water weight.
You can… Drink Smart
Since you will most likely be indulging in lots of coffee and alcohol as previously stated, choose wisely. Instead of a double caramel macchiato from Starbucks, grab an Americano, Blonde Roast, or Cold Brew. These are all lower calorie options that will give you the same caffeine kick without all the extra cream and sugar. When it comes to alcoholic drinks, try to stick to a two drink maximum. When you have those few drinks, choose to use zero calorie mixers like soda water, or diet soda with a clear alcohol.
You will… Keep Exercising
If you already have an exercise routine down, then stick to it! If you aren’t currently exercising, start by going on walks with your family during the holidays. Either way, get some exercise in! It’ll make you feel better by boosting endorphins, making you feel happy and more positive. It’ll put you in a good mood by releasing tension. The holidays can be a tricky time for some people. If you struggle with depression, exercise can help combat those thoughts and imbalances. Likewise, if you struggle with anxiety, exercise can be a productive outlet for that extra energy which helps you relax better.
You might need to… Change Perspective
Remember that holidays include food but that holidays aren’t all about food. Remember back to when you were a child and were invited to a birthday party. I’m sure your first reaction wasn’t “OMG Yes! There’s gonna be pizza, and soda, and cake, and snacks!” Your first reaction was probably “OMG Yes! I can’t wait to see and play with all my friends and have fun!” Adopt that mindset again for the holidays. Focus on spending time with your family and friends, having meaningful conversations, and creating memories. At the end of the day this is what’s most important. Not your quest to a perfectly chiseled body.
With all that said, I hope everyone has a happy, healthy holiday season!