It’s that time of the year again. It’s still dark when you wake up and dark again when you’re heading home from work. The temperature has dropped and the snow is on it’s way. But with that change in season comes the sparkly lights on the trees and holiday celebrations with your nearest and dearest! There is no need to have an “I’ll start again in January” mentality. Follow these simple tips to survive your holidays – have those cookies and eat them too!
Your body needs 2-3L of water a day. This amount doesn’t take into consideration what you’re sweating away or the alcohol or caffeine you’re intaking. Often times, your brain confuses being thirsty with being hungry. If you stay hydrated, you’re less likely to munch on those extra cookies when in reality you’re not hungry at all!
Make Movement a Priority
During the holidays, your schedule is packed! There’s gift shopping (which can be a workout on Black Friday), cooking, travelling, and holiday parties. In between all those commitments, continue to make movement a priority. If you can’t make it to the gym, take a brisk walk outside to see some Christmas lights. If we’re lucky enough for a white Christmas, bundle up and shovel the driveway! When time is tight but you’re dying to get under the barbell, check out Coach Ian’s 30-30-30 Series (on Instagram @ianschnarrtraining) for a quick workout!
The holidays come at the same time every year, so there’s no reason not to plan for them! Planning your meals or workouts ahead of time will help you stay on track. If you schedule your workouts at the beginning of the week, you’re more likely to actually protect that time and do them. If you know you’re going to eat a big meal later in the day or attend a holiday party with lots of treats, consider having a lighter meal in the morning. By planning ahead, you will feel like you are always in control and can enjoy in moderation.
Change your Mindset
The holidays are not do or die. Whether you have that extra lemon bar or not, there is no reason to feel guilty this season. The holidays are a season to be enjoyed with those you love, not keeping tabs on everything you eat. In reality, of the 100 meals or so you eat across the entire holiday season you will probably only overeat during a few. You have to eat 3500 calories over your daily energy expenditure to gain one pound of fat. In short, it is very very hard to gain weight in one or two meals. Don’t let the scale scare you. Weight fluctuation is dependent on many things and while that one meal may make you feel like you gained three pounds of fat, it didn’t! Don’t overreact to seemingly drastic changes in the scale by overly restricting yourself the next day. Return to eating regularly and have patience to allow everything to level back out. Stop stressing about it and enjoy!
Written by: Lana Pfaff, Fitness Instructor, Athletic Strength & Performance Coach