The toughest time of the year for fitness and nutrition is here. We want you to enjoy this time with family and friends. We’ll even have a holiday party of our own! Here are the 3 things I want you to do to continue making progress towards your goals through this holiday season.
- Control What You Can
- Maintain As Much of Your Routine as Possible
- Ask Yourself, “How Will This Make Me Feel?”
These 3 things are simple, not easy. Together they form a circle of protection around the gains you’ve made so far this year.
Control What You Can. As you go from house to house for feasts and festivities you won’t always be able to choose the menu, or have access to a gym. That’s OK. You still decide what you put in your mouth, and can choose to exercise.
Not eating is not an option. Choose vegetables and meat as much as you can. Limit added sugar and packaged, processed items. This doesn’t mean steal the crudité and skip dessert. Do the best you can with what’s available. Lean into the good stuff that has fueled your progress, limit the indulgences, and still enjoy your holiday favorites.
So you’ve got no gym? No problem! If 2020 taught us anything it’s that we can workout anywhere. Do air squats, push-ups, lunges, planks, run, walk, and stretch. Your workout doesn’t always have to leave you in a sweaty, gasping heap on the floor to be effective. 20 minutes of movement is WAY better than none. Choose equipment-free exercises that you enjoy, and get after it!
Maintain As Much of Your Routine as Possible. If you typically workout 4 days a week, continue to be the person that works out 4 days a week. Even if it is some burpees on the floor of your childhood bedroom, or a jog around your “old stomping grounds”. Staying in rhythm with your workouts helps keep your nutrition in line, and vice versa.
If you’re not the type of person to have a beer and slice of pie with dinner on a random Tuesday, don’t become the person that has beer and a slice of pie with dinner on a random Tuesday during the holiday season! It’s easy to let good habits fall off this time of year. Stay off the slippery slope, and keep the goodies out of your house. Stick with your typical, high quality breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, so you’re well fueled, and less tempted by the foods you want to avoid at the big holiday gatherings.
Ask Yourself, “How Will This Make Me Feel?” This simple question can save a lot of suffering around the holidays, and, to be honest, all year round. How will the extra cocktail your in-laws are offering make you feel later tonight or tomorrow morning? What about the extra scoops of ice cream with the pie à la mode? You’re maintaining your routine, and working out tomorrow morning, right? How will that feel after all that indulging? It’s not always easy to ask and honestly answer yourself, but this question can be the key to taking control of what you can, and staying in routine.
None of these suggestions are easy. If they were, everyone would do them. They require putting goals ahead of instant gratification, and discipline. Just remember, one decadent meal isn’t a reason to give up on the whole day, week, or season. The next time you eat is a chance to make a better decision, and get back on track. Besides, you do challenging things everyday.
Control what you can to maintain your routine, and ask yourself “how will this make me feel?” to stay on track. If you need help with goal setting, awareness, accountability, a question, or just someone to talk to and bounce ideas off of, we’re here for you. You’ve got this!