It’s that time of year again when everyone in the fitness community comes out and shares ‘the secret to see progress over the holidays’ or ‘get ____ so you can still lose weight and start your new years resolutions early’ We’ve all heard right?! So here’s a list of do’s and don’ts as we stroll through this busy holiday season!
THINGS TO DO OVER THE HOLIDAYS:
- Schedule in time for everything you need to do. this is important always, but especially as our schedules pick up with having to shop, baking food, and having a bajillion festive get togethers with everyone you know. Schedule in your workouts, when you can meal prep, when you’re too busy to get it done. Write it down and once it’s down, stick to it.
- Remember the small habits add up. We care so much about the 1 hour workout and forget about the other 23 hours in the day. It’s easy to bypass that stuff but it is crucial to keeping your inflammation down, digestion feeling good, and regulating internal processes. Make daily check lists for yourself: hit your water, micronutrients, sleep, keeping stress down, etc.
- Be honest with yourself on where you need to give yourself some grace and where you need to be more strict. We can’t have one extreme or the other. You can’t have fitness goals and think you don’t need to track your food, get steps in, or hit your water and then believe you will make progress…you won’t. On the other hand, you shouldn’t be so strict with yourself where you can’t enjoy a meal and be social with people and have a drink or 2. There is a balance and it is whatever you want to make for yourself. I suggest choosing a few events you want to just enjoy and not be concerned about and then be more cautious of food intake at the others! Just be honest with the progress, or lack thereof, your body/mind gets with the path you choose!
- Think about going into a reverse diet. I wrote a whole blog on why a reverse diet can help you long term when you want to lose some body fat. It is the perfect time to start thinking about increasing those calories, enjoy a little more food freedom through the holidays, and then think about entering a cutting/maintaining phase rolling into spring. (You do not need to cut for spring but many people like to!) If you’re not sure how to do a reverse diet or are questioning if it’s for you, apply for coaching and let us help you through this season!
THINGS NOT TO DO OVER THE HOLIDAYS:
- Only do HIIT workouts to ‘burn more calories’ to make up for what you ate. Guys, one meal or even a few, over the 2+ months won’t affect your progress that much. We still want to focus on building that muscle up. Even though your apple watch may say you burned a ton more calories during those 30 minutes on the treadmill, long term, muscle is more metabolically demanding and will burn more calories over the course of the day.
- Eat minimal foods leading up to the party. I’m sure every girl has done this before. We eat primarily protein sources all morning and drink our water so we don’t feel so bad when we eat the piece of pie. This is a vicious cycle to get into because our bodies will then want more food at that sitting than if you would’ve just ate like normally and indulged only a little bit at the party. Again, we want those sustainable long term results – give yourself some grace, eat the food.
- Have an all or nothing mindset. Kind of like above, I’m sure all girls have/had a mindset like this. “If I’m going to have a free meal, I’m going to eat the appetizers for 2 hours, drink a few glasses of wine, eat everything on my plate even though I was full 30 minutes ago, and then snack some more, and I can’t pass up the dessert because who knows when I’m going to have it again?!” right?? That’s on one end. The other end is “I’m going to pack my tupperware and heat it up and drink my water so I’m not tempted by anything else”. There needs to be some balance to all of this. It is not easy and that mental hurtle can be SO challenging, but it is beyond worth it to find it! Journal about it, reach out to a friend, plan out a little more of your day so there is some wiggle room. And with anything, practice makes perfect. You’ll mess up most likely but you have the next day/time to get better.
What are some things you struggle with when it comes to the holiday season? My biggest one is simply being busy and fitting everything in that I need to! Something always gets neglected.
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