I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving this past week! I had a lovely holiday: cooking breakfast with my father, brother, and our SO’s, and enjoying a traditional dinner at my man’s sister’s house with all of the family. It was my first Thanksgiving sat around a dining table with family in a few years and I definitely enjoyed it!
The table spread involved a deep fried turkey, corn pudding, sweet potatoes, and of course – plenty of apple pie a la mode. And boy, did I enjoy every last bit! But, with this month dedicated to my physical health and diet, splurging on those meals definitely knocked me off the wagon a bit. Transitioning into the holiday season is never kind to our normal routines, be that our exercise, diet, or even sleep. The holidays are busy, filled with food, and sometimes stressful, all leading to some hiccups in our regimen. I’m here to share with you my favorite ways to stay on track during the holiday season, while still enjoying them to the fullest.
The Best Ways to Stay On Track this Holiday Season
1. Don’t beat yourself up
The holiday season is all about family, cheer, and food. Odds are, you’re going to indulge. Whatever your indulgence, there’s no sense in feeling guilty over it. I know when I’m really focusing on my fitness and diet, I’m one of those people who get’s obsessive. When I treat myself, I always try to thoroughly enjoy it and remind myself that balance is good, but I always end up feeling guilty the next day. I think that that one meal or one treat has hindered so much progress. I feel my whole week of effort has been for nothing. But, folks, that simply isn’t the case. Fitness and health are not fads, diets are not a quick fix. These are aspects of your lifestyle. Enjoying seasonal treats is not going to wreak havoc on your diet unless you let it. So, eat the slice of pie. Love it. Just don’t eat the whole pie.
2. Don’t under eat/over exercise
Again, I’m guilty of this. When I first jumped into the world of fitness, I used to seriously restrict my calories. I figured that since I needed to be in a deficit to lose weight, the less I eat, the less I would have to work out to be in a deficit! Right? Wrong. The only thing under-eating does, is screw with your metabolism. Your body goes into starvation mode, and clings to all of your fat stores and any incoming calories. The same thing happens when you over exercise, your body gets confused. When you burn too many calories and you don’t replace them, your body holds onto what it already has, which doesn’t allow you to lose weight.
3. Eat Mindfully
When you do eat, make sure you’re feeding your body the best foods you can. I’m talking whole grains, proteins, veggies, and lots of water. Our bodies thrive on whole, natural foods. Eating these after some unhealthy choices makes sure our bodies still get the nutrients and vitamins it needs to function optimally. Resume your normal, balanced eating habits, and remember that in order for your body to run, it needs proper fuel.
4. Workout First Thing
The morning after a binge, or the Monday after a lazy weekend, the best thing to do is get your workout in. I know that the thought of it can sometimes be a drag, but in the end, it always feels so much better to workout and get your body moving. My favorite thing to do is go to a guided workout class in the morning before I do anything else. I love Spinning classes, Zumba, or Boxing! All 3 of these get your heart rate up quickly, fire up your metabolism, and fill you with those feel-good endorphins. Getting your workout out of the way is an awesome kick start to your day and your week. It’s always said that if you do it once, it’s easier to do it again. Push yourself to get that first workout in as soon as possible to get you back on track.
5. Tackle those Tasks
This last one doesn’t have much to do with physical health, but mental health instead. This past weekend, I’m guilty of letting my goals slip my mind, and my responsibilities slip off of my to-do list. Today, I’m making sure I get done what needs to get done. Checking off my to-do list clears the clutter in my mind which allows more time to focus on my health, without overwhelming me. When I’m overwhelmed, I binge, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to avoid. So I love to plan out my day or week and make sure I finish what I need to (including my workout!) before I allow myself any leisure time.
Hopefully these tips will help you get back on the wagon if you fall off this holiday season!