November is here – Tis the season to go to all the awesome holiday parties, eat all the food, drink all the drinks, then gain an extra ten pounds in just under two months. Let’s face it, it’s EASY to slack off during these colder months–we have lots of excuses we could use!
NOT THIS YEAR!
I’m not going to sit here and tell you to forgo the parties, the slightly unhealthy holiday foods, or the alcoholic beverages. I still want you to (and me too!) have fun during this most wonderful time of the year! I’m here to tell you that you can fully enjoy these next several weeks without gaining weight or losing any momentum you have going right now.
HERE’S THE REAL PROBLEM WITH THE HOLIDAYS
Recently, when talking to those considering adopting a healthier lifestyle, losing weight, toning up, etc. the most common themes (eh-hem, excuses) I’m hearing are:
“I’m just going to wait until January 1st.”
“Why bother. Thanksgiving is right around the corner.”
“Life is short, YOLO!”
It’s hard enough to get and STAY motivated to lose weight when the weather is nice and there are fewer gatherings. But add a hectic travel schedule, crappy weather, shorter daylight hours, and all the parties to the mix and it’s a recipe for trouble. It would be easy to say “It’s the holidays” to rationalize the choices that do not move your health forward or help you reach your goals. But come New Years, you’ll be kicking yourself for all the weight you gained, for being lazy and for not just using a bit of self-control.
HOW TO SURVIVE THE NEXT SEVERAL WEEKS
SWEAT A LITTLE EVERY DAY-Everyone is busy! You’re not the only person with extra duties this time of year. Whether you’re volunteering, Christmas shopping, ringing bells, etc. make the time to sweat a little every single day. Even if you just have 15 minutes, something is better than nothing. No more of the “I don’t have time.” excuses–MAKE the time. It could be push-ups, jumping jacks or sit-ups during your favorite TV show, walking while your kids are at their extra-curricular activities, or better yet getting the whole family involved in some outdoor play, shoveling or snowball fights. Something is better than nothing…like, WAAAAY better.
And c’mon, a 30 minute workout is only 2% of your day!
FIND SUPPORT & ACCOUNTABILITY-If you’re the only person in your family who is interested in being healthier over the holidays, or your social circle always insists on pizza and wine instead of supporting your healthier ways, it’s going to be a tough holiday season. If this is the case for you, then it’s time to find a circle of peeps who get what you’re doing, who are on the same mission and who will support you. Create a Facebook message thread, a text message chain, or tap into one of my online fitness bootcamps for the support and accountability to take your fitness to the next level.
CHOOSE YOUR ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES WISELY
Ok, ok. This one is hard for me too. But this is a matter of a handful of calories vs a few hundred multiplied by a dozen or so cocktails in an evening (yikes!). Alternate your cocktails with water to help you limit consumption and stay hydrated (hello hangover). Choose sparkling water mixers for your cocktails, flavored with fresh fruit if you’re looking for a lower calorie option. You can find some pretty great premade sparkling water cocktail drinks at the grocery store.
EVERY MEAL COUNTS-Just because you had a lumberjack brunch and went way over your calorie budget doesn’t mean your entire day is ruined. Just because you had pecan pie at dinner doesn’t mean you can say screw it the rest of the day and eat whatever you want. If you’re going to eat one bad meal, that still gives you the opportunity to eat two really good meals! Again, watch the alcohol-the last thing you want to do is pile on a few hundred more calories on top of everything you just ate. The meal you eat AFTER a bad meal is actually the most important one. One bad meal won’t make you gain weight, but if it’s followed up by another bad meal, followed by a bad day, followed by a bad week (you get the picture) things get ugly FAST! Your body has no idea it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, it’s just any other day. So, eat the meal, then move on.
BRING YOUR OWN FOOD TO THE PARTY-Yeah, you might get a few strange looks, and just for the record healthy DOESN’T mean bland or sucky! Check out my Healthy Desserts or Sneaky Healthy Pinterest boards for some ideas along with my blog recipes. Get used to being the “weird, healthy one” at the party, at work, etc. EMBRACE THAT ISH! You are doing this for you and nobody else. It’s okay to say “no thank you” and pass on the extra treats and desserts. You can always say “I’m full right now, I’ll try some later.” if you’re worried about seeming rude. But for the record, you’re not, it’s your choice.
NEVER SHOW UP HUNGRY-If you’re going to a party where you know the healthy options will be limited, see above AND eat before you go. Choose some hearty veggies and lean protein to fill you up so you’re not arriving hangry–that’s a sure-fire way to overeat or eat things you wouldn’t normally eat.
CREATE A HEALTHY PLATE-Half of your plate should contain veggies, the rest protein and carbs. For more information on how to fix yourself a healthy holiday plate check out my 21 Day Fix Holiday Survival Guide blog post
HYDRATE YO LIFE-A good rule of thumb to follow any time is drinking 25oz of water, 30 minutes before a meal. This will get your digestive juices flowing and fill you up so you don’t over eat. It’s actually NOT helpful to your digestive track to drink liquids WHILE you are eating, as it prohibits your digestive enzymes from doing their thing. If you find you are super thirsty or feel like you’re choking while eating a meal, then take smaller bites and chew more. When you’re done eating, wait another 30 minutes and have some more water. And remember, wine, water, wine, water, mkay?
FOLLOW THE 80/20 RULE –If you know you’re going to a holiday party over the weekend and going to eat and drink whatever the hell you want, you MUST be diligent the other days of the week. Aim for great weekdays, pack your lunch, make meals at home, skip the drive through/restaurants, etc. Then on the weekend, do your thang.
ELIMINATE “CHEAT DAY” FROM YOUR VOCABULARY-“Cheat” implies that you’re doing something wrong, there could be guilt or shame associated with that. No shame in your game! This is part of your game plan. So what you ate pizza and drank beer last Saturday. It wasn’t a “cheat day” it was part of your meal plan. Simply put, eat healthy 80% of the time, the other 20% eat whatever you feel like. After a “whatever” meal, go right back to your normal eating schedule, healthier food choices, etc. No momentum lost, this one meal is not going to cause weight gain.
LET IT GO AND MOVE ON-Don’t let one day, one night, one meal ruin your life. Check in with your support team, be awesome and move on.
APPLY FOR MY “HEALTHY 4 THE HOLIDAYS” BOOTCAMP