Well, it’s that time of year again. The holidays are upon us, and even for the most disciplined among us, the endless cavalcade of events and parties presents a challenge to our fitness goals. Although you may be tempted to toss your hands in the air and give up, take heart! With just a few simple tips you can prevent the holiday weight gain experienced by so many.
The holidays are a time of celebration, gratitude, and times with your loved ones. Here’s how to avoid turning them into a time of binge eating and drinking:
1) Drink more water – You should probably be drinking more water anyway. Water is not only fundamental to health, but drinking it regularly can keep you feeling fuller. Often times, dehydration is incorrectly interpreted as hunger and WHAMMO: you just ate a cheesecake. Not like a slice. Like the whole friggin’ cake.
2) Workout – Ideally you’re already doing this. If you’re not… start! While I don’t think it’s wise to use working out to justify poor nutrition choices (you can’t out-train your diet friends), it will still provide an opportunity for calorie burning; not to mention the promotion of other health and fitness qualities like bone density, cardiovascular health, overall awesomeness, etc. For extra bang for your buck, try to plan a rocking workout before your holiday nutritional indiscretions. And for those of you not already working out, consider this proverb: The best time to plant a tree is two years ago. The second best time is now.
3) Bring healthy snacks when traveling – For most of us, the holidays mean traveling. Whether it be to our own crazy loving families or our spouse’s crazier loving families, some time will probably be spent in planes, trains, and automobiles. Rather than eating the unhealthy food that’s totally ubiquitous in any airport, rest stop, bus station, etc., save yourself the temptation (and cash) and bring some snacks. Nuts, fruits, beef jerky, protein shakes, whatever floats your boat. This way you can save your nutritional indiscretions for mom’s Christmas cookies.
4) Eat a big serving of protein before holiday parties – Another simple way to avoid getting out of hand over the holidays is to eat some protein right before heading to an event or party. Protein will keep you feeling fuller longer. This way, you’re less likely to eat 27 pigs in a blanket.
5) Celebrate holidays, not holimonths – Probably the biggest reason people fall off on the holidays is that they figure, “well, I’m already eating crappy, might as well eat some Ben and Jerry’s!” This nutritional strategy is the equivalent of deciding that since you already got a holiday induced flat tire, you might as well take a crowbar and smash the windshield. (“Needed to be cleaned anyway; this is just easier.”) If you’re eating well and exercising most days, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t enjoy some holiday treats and do so in a guilt free manner while still fitting into your tight jeans. I’m not a fan of folks feeling deprived at holiday outings. You should absolutely enjoy yourself. Just make sure you’re not enjoying yourself several times a week because “A Christmas Story” is on every night, and you can’t watch “A Christmas Story” without eating your bodyweight in gingerbread cookies …
As always, if you’d like a little tender loving care on the road to fitness glory, hit us up at [email protected] and check out our current offerings! And if you’d love to give the gift of health and hotness, check out our super sexy MFF Gift Certificates!