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The holiday season is here which means it is time for family gatherings, office parties, baked goods, sugary drinks and many other festive temptations. You may feel inclined to put your fitness goals on hold and get back into the swing of things in the New Year. However, postponing your plans to eat healthily and exercise more will only put you behind once January comes and will stop you from creating healthy habits that last a lifetime.
Here are 5 tips for staying on track of your fitness and health goals while still enjoying the holiday season:
1) Plan Ahead
We know that around this time of year there will be many events and parties that we need to plan for. A great way to ensure that you stay on top of your fitness goals is to plan how to handle these events. It is important to think ahead and know which days you will let yourself indulge a little. Make sure you have a healthy eating plan set for the majority of the week, meal prep in advance, plan a day or two of the week where you will allow yourself to have some treats and stick to the plan! This way you can still enjoy the holiday festivities with your friends and family members all while staying on track with your health and fitness goals.
2) Set Realistic Goals
Now is not the time of year to tell yourself that you are not going to eat any carbs or workout 7 days a week. The more you deny yourself, the more likely you are to binge eat or miss a workout. Be realistic with yourself and set goals that work synergistically with your holiday plans and fitness goals.
Be realistic with yourself and set goals that work synergistically with your holiday plans and fitness goals.
Rather than restricting yourself excessively, tell yourself you are going to fill up on vegetables before indulging in the unhealthier options. Allow yourself to have pie or cookies but limit yourself to a couple of cookies or a small slice of pie and stop yourself there. This way you will still fill up on nutritious food all while satisfying your sweet tooth.
3) Workout First Thing in The Morning
Set your alarm an hour earlier and get to the gym first thing in the morning! This is one of the best ways to make sure that you make healthy eating decisions for the rest of the day. Between office parties, Christmas shopping and family gatherings it can be tough to find time to go to the gym after work. By working out first thing in the morning, you can feel free to enjoy the rest of your day wherever it takes you!
4) Don’t Drink Your Calories
We all know how tempting those Starbucks holiday drinks can be or the likelihood of there being sugar-laden cocktails at the next Christmas party you attend. Customize your Starbucks drink by opting for low-fat milk or almond milk, ask for half the amount of syrup and skip the whipped cream. When enjoying alcoholic beverages, limit yourself to one or two sugary cocktails or opt for soda water instead of tonic, lemons, and limes instead of fruit juices or try high balls instead of rum and eggnog.
5) Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
It is not the end of the world if you slip up on your diet or if you miss a workout. Not being 100% perfect won’t put an end to you reaching your fitness and health goals. Accept the slip-up and promise yourself that you will be better the next day or next meal. Being too hard on yourself will only put you in a negative headspace and will, therefore, increase the likelihood of you slipping up again. Accept that no one is perfect and make sure to enjoy the holiday festivities!