Christmas is officially only 11 days away but by now we imagine you are already in the holiday spirits, full swing!
Perhaps you have already had to attend Christmas office parties, friends Christmas parties, and soon to come are your family Christmas dinners.
That’s a lot of parties and dinners.
How are we expected to maintain our healthy lifestyle and eating habits with all this Christmas holiday cheer going around?
Don’t worry, it is okay to indulge a little over the Christmas season and still maintain the healthy lifestyle you created for yourself.
These 10 tips to avoid holiday weight gain will keep you on track (or get you back on track) and have you heading straight into the new year prepared.
Travel With Workout Tools
Never leave your workouts behind!
We know often times people must travel during the Christmas season. This interrupts your daily workout routine, having to leave your gym behind and all your little kettlebell friends. :(
But have no fear! With a few tools, you can maintain a killer workout, even without a gym membership or heavy gym weights.
If you are heading somewhere with a lot of snow expected, then pack a speed jump rope for an effective cardio workout. Don’t want to miss your core workout? Pack a portable ab wheel roller to stuff in your bag and break out for a kill ab workout. (The Survival and Cross ab wheel even breaks down into 3 small parts for easy travel convenience)
The list can go on and on proving all the different tools you could get to pack with you on your trip.
Every Little Bit Counts
It’s really sad how busy life seems to get during the holiday season.
We find ourselves more stressed than not, and it feels like we hardly have enough hours in the day for work, parties, last minute Christmas shopping, and all the other responsibilities we must shoulder.
But your #1 priority should always be your health and maintaining your own wellness.
If you find yourself short on time and tempted to skip your regular workout then just force yourself to do a little bit. A little goes a long way. If you just do SOMETHING that counts as a workout, then you will be more inclined to do a little more.
It’s much harder to start again if you quit cold turkey. So just try to do mini workouts that will keep your blood pumping and your head in the right mindset.
Often, if you just do a little bit, you will end up wanting to do more.
Save your calories for your favorite meals
Everyone has cheat meals. These are good to schedule into your healthy lifestyles so you can reward yourself with a little indulgence. However, they are call cheat MEALS not cheat WEEKS.
We all have our favorite holiday foods from childhood that we love, we only get once a year, and can’t wait to have during Christmas. But it is probably full of sugar and a whole manner of unhealthy things that could cause weight gain if eaten in over excess.
So count your calories and save them for those special meals, entrees, and desserts, that you are most looking forward to. You don’t always have to have a little bit of everything.
Overeating, stress, and lack of sleep are all related. You can experience less sleep over the holidays as you stay up late shopping or going to events or trying to get work done. When you wake up the next morning you might already start the day groggy and moody and then to overcompensate, you turn to more comforting foods.
This time of the year should not be full of stress. But, even if it is, you should counteract stress as best you can. Try to get as much sleep as you can. Don’t sweat the small stuff or worry about those things that you cannot control And try to stick to your regular daily routine as best as possible.
Practice self-care, even during this season when we are putting others first in the spirit of Christmas. When you give up on your regular routine, it makes it hard to maintain your weight and even harder to get back to a regular rhythm when the holidays are over.
Don’t keep treats in the house
It’s one thing to try to resist sweets and treats when you are at a party, but it is an entirely different animal to try to resist them in your own home. Every time you walk into the kitchen, there’s the plate of Christmas cookies or that dish of candies. A little bit here, and a little taste there and by the end of the day you’ve had 5 cookies and you lost count of how many pieces of candy.
You must resist bring it home!
If it does arrive at your doorstep, consider taking it work or spreading it around to your friends. They will love you for it, but you will love yourself, even more, when you are able to maintain or even lose weight this Christmas season!
Prepare your normal meals
So you have a big party to go to later tonight so you decide to skip lunch. When you arrive at the party, you are probably starving now and so you tend to overeat. This is a sure fire way to gain weight over the holidays.
Don’t be so busy with your day that you don’t take time to prepare proper meals for yourself and your family. By having a wholesome breakfast and healthy lunch, you set yourself up for success. You will be nutritionally energized for the day, less stress, and not famished by the time you arrive at your dinner party.
It’s better to eat multiple small meals a day. Try avoiding hunger by drinking lots of water, sticking healthy snacks in baggies to travel around with, and opt for a salad for lunch.
We all know alcohol in excess can lower inhibitions. This can cause you to throw caution to the wind and overeat. Most alcoholic drinks are high in calories which will add up quickly at a big party.
If you like having a drink while you are out, try a white wine spritzer, made of wine, soda water, and lemon twist. This is a low-calorie drink but it’s still bubbly and fun to drink.
Sipping your drink slowly, over an hour or two, can also help you drink less and stay in control of what you're eating. Plus, drinking less means you will still be able to wake up at your normal hour and get that workout in without a holiday hangover.
You don’t have to struggle against temptation alone. If you want to stick to your guns and resist unhealthy foods this season, then find an accountability partner to do it together.
This person could be your spouse, a friend or even your whole family together. It’s easier to stand against a giant when you are not standing alone.
If you do not have anyone to keep you accountable, then you can keep yourself accountable by keeping track of your calories via a journal or an app.
Keep veggies on your plate
Pasta, steak, chicken, shrimp, o my!
One of the best parts of Christmas is definitely the variety of foods that you get to sample. But if you want to avoid extra weight gain this season, then make sure you add veggies on your plate when you are sitting down for a meal. These veggies can be steamed, raw, or in a salad, just make sure you are getting them in. And sweet potato casserole does not count…
Workout at home when busy
Contrary to popular belief, walking around a mall for hours on end does not really count as a solid cardio workout.
If you find yourself super busy this season and can’t get to the gym for a full workout, then do one at home. Youtube, fitness vloggs, and aps make it very easy to get in a 30 minute HIIT workout in your own living room. Most of them don’t even require and equipment.
The #1 idea here is to simply do SOMETHING that gets your heart rate going, works your muscles, and (bonus) reduces stress.
If you are looking for an awesome at home workout to keep your workout alive this season, check out the Survival and Cross 12 Days of Christmas Fitness Challenge.