With most of us becoming fitness slackers during the long Christmas and New Years vacation time, I thought I would summarize some of the best tips on how to not gain weight. I use the term not gain for a reason. During this time of year you should be able to enjoy the foods you want to eat, drink the alcohol you want to drink, and cherish the precious time with your family without feeling any guilt. So today I am going to go over the best fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle choices to make to get you through the season sane and slim!
If your goal is to get buff during the holiday season… well then the best of luck to ya! I personally aim to maintain my fitness level. Health and fitness should rightfully take a back seat to the enjoyment of friends and family during this time of year. However, this does not mean you should stop exercising completely. In fact, it’s the best thing you can do to not gain weight! So here’s what you should do.
1. Make physical activity a part of your holiday routine. Don’t be a lemming. Just because everyone else wants to be lazy doesn’t mean that you should be lazy too.
2. Eat the friggin delicious holiday food. Just be mindful to not eat everything just because it’s in front of you.
3. Plan around the obstacles. Not having equipment and traveling shouldn’t be your downfall. Follow the links here and here for exercise programs you can do anywhere.
Absolutely nothing can replace the joy of eating grandmas famous Christmas cookies (at least for me this is true). So any advice you get telling you not to, will simply rob you of joy in my opinion. This is because, medical conditions aside, carbs aren’t inherently bad for you and they certainly wont make you fat. They can do harm when over consumed, just like proteins and fats will, but they won’t mess with your insulin causing fat gain (again medical conditions aside). Just don’t go nuts on the macadamia cookies and you will be okay. This goes for the prepackaged stuff as well. Because “eating clean” really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, so don’t fear the not so home made apple pie. And when it comes to alcohol, the message is the same. Moderation is crucial, and there’s no need to worry about gaining weight or losing those guns you worked so hard to polish.
There are plenty of bloggers claiming to know the secret to the perfect lifestyle. But in reality, you are the only one who knows what’s best for you. Making good responsible choices is a complex process. In my opinion there are many things to consider outside of your immediate actions on you overall health. Think about what brings you joy over the holidays. Think about the choices you make, and how you make them. Savor the moments by take the time to “check in”, pay attention, and be present. Reach out by connecting with friends, family, and whoever else you consider your “tribe.” Consider how you might be able to share good health and well-being with others during this important time of the year. Here are an additional seven things to consider when trying to stay on track over the holidays.
1. When you’re feeling stressed (which has been known to happen when around a lot of family), take a big belly breath or eight.
2. Eat slowly, with moderate pauses between bites. The saying “savor the flavor” reigns true for this one.
3. Be mindful of hunger. Don’t just eat because it’s time to eat or there’s something in front of you. Listen to your body and it will tell you when to eat and when enough is enough.
4. Make mindful choices. Similar to being mindful of hunger, your body will tell you what to eat. Pick out only the thing you want, and when they are on your dish you can choose to eat what tastes good and leave the rest on the plate, or try something else.
5. Distinguish between desire and craving.
6. Practice generosity. Cook, eat, and share food with other to truly get the most out of this holiday season.
7. Express your gratitude. According to research, this simple action increases our inclination to be caring, compassionate, honest and respectful.
I truly hope everyone has a wonderful time with their friends and family over the holiday season.