It’s the moooost wonderful tiiiiiiiiime of the year!
While it is personally my absolute favorite time of the year, let’s face it: the glitz and shine of the holiday season makes it really hard to keep your momentum in a lot of areas of your life. Suddenly you have no more time to workout, aunts & uncles are shoving your favorite cookies in front of your face, and for some reason that glass of wine magically refills.
Now I do think we all do deserve time to kick back and celebrate, because that’s what the holidays are all about. But that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice all the hard work we’ve already put in. So here’s a few tips to help you survive (or maybe even… thrive!?)
When Traveling, Don’t Neglect the Basics
Eating out, traveling, sleeping in different beds than you’re used to… can wreak havoc on your circadian rhythm. Despite what you want to believe, our bodies and brains are incredibly in tune with our habits & routines, and traveling throws that off significantly. To help offset the potential pitfalls of this, prioritize the foundation of your health:
- Hydration: bring your water bottle and refill it whenever you can!
- In the morning drink 16-20oz of water upon waking
- Sleep as much as you can while traveling. Your sleep quality will be lower, so focus on quantity!
- Plan ahead what type of movement practice you will do each day. Aim for 10k steps minimum per day and get in a quick 20-30 workout where you can (remember that we post bodyweight workouts on Train everyday!
What about Parties!?
Well of course you need to whip out that ugly Christmas sweater and take swigs of egg nog out of a moose glass. But go into it with a plan!
- Always go into a holiday gathering on a full or semi full stomach.
- This way you don’t go in starving, wanting to snag that 2nd, 3rd, or 4th cookie. You can be more thoughtful with your choices and not over eat on food that will derail you.
- Try to limit your alcohol intake. Have one drink then switch to sparkling water with lime
- Sometimes there can be a bit of pressure to drink - this could be a great disguise for a vodka soda
- Plan an exit time ahead of the gathering
- these can often keep us up a little longer than usual, and we still need to wake up at our usual time and be mentally sharp the next day. Choose a time that feels right to leave beforehand and not cut too much time into your normal sleep hours.
If All Else Fails, Do These 3 Things:
If things are spiraling and your head is spinning, be sure to keep things simple and execute on the easiest, most basic things you can do to keep your wellness momentum:
- 8-10k steps per day (30 min of walking)
- I know you’re busy. But this is barely 3% of a waking day. I believe in you.
- Eat 1 salad a day
- Get 10 different colors of vegetables.
- Eat 85% of your bodyweight in grams of protein daily
- 200lbs = 170g Protein, 150lbs = 127.5 grams protein, etc.
- This will not only help to maintain body composition and energy levels, but also help to curb cravings and keep you feeling fuller during those holiday meals.
Put it in Perspective
Ultimately, the biggest question is what matters most to you during the Holidays? That’s for you to decide. Maybe you actually want to socialize. Maybe you crave that relaxed & lazy time with your family. Or maybe you’re the kind of person that doubles down on your health & fitness goals before the new year. No matter the answer, YOU ARE RIGHT. Don’t let anyone (including me) tell you what should or shouldn’t want this time of year.
However, if you want to strike a balance and hold your health as a priority while still enjoying the novelties of the season, zoom out a bit and put it all in perspective.
There are 38 days on the calendar from Thanksgiving Day until New Year’s Day. If you were 80% committed to your goals, that means that out of those 38 you’d have 30 days to keep in check. That gives you 8 days to overindulge on food, drink more than usual, stay out later with friends & family, and miss a workout. Eight days is a lot. It covers all the major holidays, a few weekend parties, along with some other social gatherings. All the while keeping in mind that even on a day that you eat some food or drink outside of your normal plan, you can still be compliant on your overall health & fitness plan.
Even with all the tumultuousness that comes with the holiday landscape, there are still lots of opportunities to THRIVE this season, while still leaving plenty of room to celebrate. YOU GOT THIS!