Staying on Track During the Holidays

If you've been working hard towards your fitness goals over the past few months, then you're probably looking at the upcoming month with some concern. Holiday party season is about to rev up, and with it comes countless sweet treats and busy schedules. While you might be tempted to just say, "eh, I'll just enjoy myself until January 1st", let me encourage you; you don't have to dive head-first into a month long food coma. You can rock this holiday season and enjoy it, all at the same time. Here are some tips and tricks!

Stay on track during the holidays

Exercise Hacks for the Holidays

While this season might be a busy one for you, don't slack in the exercise department. You may not be able to get in as many full workouts as you normally do, but every Sunday, plan your workouts for the week. Maybe you need to shorten a few, or move a few around, but you can make workouts happen. Get some accountability (I've got a group starting November 28th or grab a friend), and be intentional. Maybe challenge yourself to do 25 workouts between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sweeten that deal with a fun little reward if you do (hello new Lulu's). If you can squeeze in three effective workouts per week during the holiday season, you're doing great. Four workouts and you are a total rockstar!

Nutrition Hacks for the Holidays

This is where things get a little tricky. Depending on your schedule, family situation and current nutrition plan, you are going to have to get a little creative here.

Eat clean MOST of the time.

Eat clean (according to your macros or calories) for as many days as you possibly can. This means that you do not need to chow down on every sweet treat someone brings to the office over the next month. Instead, plan your fun. If you eat clean the entire week before Thanksgiving, then you can enjoy all of the carby goodness Thanksgiving has to offer, with no guilt. Are those store bought cookies really worth it? No. Save your extra calories for the amazing catered party your office has. 

Add in some good stuff. 

If you aren't doing this already, now would be a great time to: up your water intake, add in some green smoothies and add veggies to all your meals. Simple hacks like these will keep you feeling full while giving your body some of the vital nutrients it needs. 

Track your food this month.

I am not a huge fan of logging everything you eat, all of the time. However, I do believe there is a time and place for tracking calories and macros. There is a significant amount of research that shows people who track their food, even if no one looks at their food log, lose up to twice the amount of weight as people who don't track their food. If you know that this month is going to be a challenge, then start keeping a food log from Thanksgiving to New Years. I love My Fitness Pal, because it has such a wide range of foods in its database. You can also use a fitbook if paper is more your thing.

Watch what you drink.

'Tis the season for lots of fancy cocktails and sugar-laden drinks. These are things that can put on the extra pounds with a quickness. You don't need to get an eggnog latte every time you hit up Starbucks. You don't need a cocktail at every holiday party you attend. Choose your liquid calories carefully this season and save them for truly special occasions!

Relax and be grateful. 

Take some time to really, truly rest this season. Stress leads to weight gain and a whole host of other health issues. Grab a massage, sleep in on the weekend, diffuse some oils, take a long bath, or plan a fun girls day out.  Doing your best to relax will keep your immune system strong and your cortisol levels low (which is good for weight loss). Enjoy time with the people you love, and live with sincere gratitude for the blessings you have. Studies have shown that people who practice gratitude are significantly more likely to lose weight and keep it off. Make this holiday season one where you daily count your blessings.

The holiday's don't have to derail your efforts to stay healthy and fit. In fact, they are the perfect time to really dial in your nutrition and commit to a workout plan. If you need help getting through the next 5ish weeks, I would love to have you join my upcoming bootcamp. For 12 weeks you get workouts, nutrition guidelines and regular accountability. We will work on building sustainable habits that keep you focused and free, so you don't feel like your losing your mind! This program is super affordable and designed with busy women in mind. Join me friends!

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15943172

http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20080708/keeping-food-diary-helps-lose-weight