Four Steps for a Healthy Holiday Season
It's that time of the year! The candy canes are out and the layers of clothes are in. I really love the festive season, mainly because of all the beautiful time spent with friends and family, and of course let's not forget all the celebratory food!
Everyone tends to gorge on festive treats this time of the year, because of all the delicious temptations we have around us, and all the layers of clothes that cover our possibly shameful results. The toughest part is when you’ve finally changed your lifestyle around and been feeding your body healthy nutrition and then this time of the year comes around. You may be able to stay away from the sinful food in your own time and place, but it doesn’t help being invited to a Christmas buffet or a New Year's Dinner party with lots of food and drinks that may not be the best for your body! To add to all that, there’s so much to do and there’s barely anytime to get to the gym to have the usual workout.
So what do you do?
Let me tell you something about myself. I may look tiny, but oh my, how I do love to eat! I sometimes worry that I’ll eat myself into a coma or something! However, I do love my body. I love feeling great, energized and capable of positively challenging my mind & body everyday. That’s why I aim to live a healthy and fit lifestyle.
So this blog has been written to share what I do when the holidays come around, where I am surrounded by things that can negatively affect my health and fitness. At the same time, I don’t want to lock myself in the house away from everyone and any celebrations out of fear!
Here are the four steps that I recommend for the festive period, to keep you in a fit and healthy state whilst still having a blast!
1. If you must, cut down your workout sessions, but do not stop!
During this time of the year, it gets so busy and you may not be able to workout as often as you usually can.
Depending on how many times a week you workout and/or where, plan your week ahead, cutting down or changing up your location for that time period. Let’s say you workout out 5-6 times a week like I do. I would cut it down to 3 times a week, and if I don’t have the time to drive to the gym, I will either go for a run around my neighbourhood, or have a workout session at home.
Of course, every person can plan their week according to their situation, but don’t stop! Trust me, it’ll help you get back to your daily workout and eating routines much more easily after the holidays have been and gone.
2. Have a BIG, healthy breakfast.
We all know it’s the most important meal of the day. Why? Because it sets the rest of the day’s energy and cravings. Starting your day with a cookie will keep you feeling drowsy and give you unhealthy food cravings throughout the day (as if we need more reasons for feeling that way!). However, having a big meal of scrambled eggs with a slice of whole wheat bread on the side, and maybe finishing up with some fresh fruit, you get all the nutrients you need before anyone mentions Buche de Noel (the delicious Christmas log cake that my mom loves getting home!).
3. Drink LOTS of water.
Water is unbelievably important for us for a number of reasons and we need to be drinking two to three litres a day, but it’s sometimes hard to remember. During the holidays that reminder is even more important, not only because we are more likely to get distracted and forget, but also with all the rich foods and drinks one may savour, it will help keep you hydrated throughout the day. Plus, it’ll help you feel less bloated and more energized, enabling you to continue celebrating!
4. Have fun, be happy and remember, moderation is key!
Following all the above steps will help keep you moving energized and minimize cravings throughout the holidays. Now we reach the point where you’re at an occasion with tons of food around you. Now what?
See, I’m not going to act like it’s easy to avoid the holiday treats, and I don’t think one should suffer from the constant guilt of indulging in food and drinks in such a time. My advice, if you can control yourself to having a plate of lean chicken/turkey breast with sweet potato and vegetables on the side and only one glass of wine, then that’s great!
On the other hand, if you have trouble to have such control, don’t torture yourself with overthinking and worrying so much that you don’t even enjoy your time anymore. Instead, remember that moderation is key!
When I’m craving everything on the table, I’ll have a bite of each, yes just ONE bite, and overall I’ll eat slowly! That way I’ve satisfied my cravings (guilt-free) and at the same time allowed myself the time for my brain to tell me when its full so I don’t overindulge.
Overall, if you slip up. It’s okay. It’s not the end. Just take the time to relax and enjoy your time, maybe go for a post-event walk outside after that.
By following these four steps, you won't feel like you’ve fallen far behind and negatively affected your body once the holidays are over and you'll still be motivated to keep pushing forward to a healthier and fitter you!
Have a very happy holidays and here's to a healthy New Year.
This article was written by Rima B.
Please follow her on Instagram: @4steps_4ward