Staying ‘On Track’ with Your Workouts and Eating Plan During the Holidays
The holidays are fast approaching whether we are ready or not. The holidays, in my opinion, are bittersweet. There is nothing better than sitting down for a meal with good friends and family, catching up, sharing memories and making new ones. For those of us that find it difficult to stay on track with a fitness routine or an eating plan during this time of year, have no fear….following some very simple rules, staying present and paying attention can assist you in being able to enjoy the holidays, good food and even better company without having a year’s worth of efforts go out the window.
Start with a set of goals that are unique to you and are realistic. Do you simply want to maintain your level of fitness and your present weight during the holiday season? Do you want to try to get to the gym more often than last year? Do you want to continue to try to lose ½-1lb per week like you have been? Whatever your goal(s) is, write it down, discuss it with a friend, a spouse or your trainer, so you have someone to ‘check in’ with regarding your progress.
Keep a journal. Record your workouts, write down what and when you ate, are you eating because of stress, boredom or habit? Oftentimes we think we are doing ‘worse’ than we actually are and conversely, there are times that we are doing ‘better’ than we actually are. Whatever your unique situation is, keeping a journal is a great tool to use to avoid falling into negative patterns.
Exercise. Even on the busiest days, try to squeeze in a workout. Although the workout doesn’t necessary last as long as your typical workout, it is something. The exercise will make you feel better, boost your metabolism and relieve stress. Keep your gym bag packed and ready to go in your car. Keep that appointment with your trainer, he/she will hold you to a steady routine. Continue with your group exercise classes, your classmates will appreciate you helping to motivate them, as you will appreciate them as well.
Give yourself permission to indulge in one meal. Whether you choose Thanksgiving, Channukkah, Christmas or New Year’s, allow yourself to indulge. Eat a smaller breakfast that day and exercise before attending that meal.
Eating tricks and wise practices. When at a party….use smaller appetizer-sized plates. Eat your lean proteins and vegetables at main meals before any simple carbohydrates. Share dessert with someone else. Limit alcohol intake. Drink plenty of water. These small things can yield large results once the holidays are over.
Most importantly, enjoy the holidays. Focusing too much attention on how much you did or didn’t eat, or how much you did or didn’t exercise takes away from the pleasure the holidays can bring. Focus on spending time with family and friends, making memories, staying present and paying attention.
Susan Whirty, General Manager, Membership, Health & Wellness