The holidays are such a magical time!
There is something incredibly special about the twinkly lights, the smell of fresh baked apple pie, and the warmth you feel when you spend time with your friends and family.
But, as wonderful as the holidays may be, they can also pose a struggle both mentally and physically when you are trying to reach your fitness goals.
No need to stress!
Instead, we’re going to cover some tips on how to thrive during this upcoming holiday season, so gear up! We’re about to cover the secrets to boosting your confidence instead of your pant size.
HOW TO BEAT THE BULGE:
A Fitness Enthusiast’s Guide to Overcoming the Holidays
BE MINDFUL OF YOUR PORTIONS
With celebratory food around every corner, it is just too easy to succumb to the pressure of saying yes to each and every little goodie. Indulge here and there, but keep in mind your long term goals and what you need to do to get there.
Challenge yourself! This might include eating fewer snacks or indulging less frequently. Keep in mind that your beverages count too! Maybe instead of two glasses you pour yourself one for the evening or perhaps none at all. You are entirely in control!
Your perspective about the holiday season can drastically help you save time and effort towards your current goals. Keeping an eye on your portion intake will play an important role in maintaining your current weight rather than packing on the pounds.
DON’T FEEL OBLIGATED TO EAT MORE THAN YOUR BODY NEEDS
I know it’s tempting to go in for that second helping of potatoes, but if you are too full to enjoy them a second time, what’s the point?
Wait a few minutes to let your stomach settle after eating a large meal. Drink some water to wash it all down then evaluate how you are feeling. By the time you’ve let your stomach stretch, your appetite will likely have subsided and you won’t eat more than your body needs.
Listening to your body’s cues will prevent you from overeating and possibly feeling guilty about indulging in a higher calorie meal or dessert….and we all deserve a little sweetness every once in a while.
YES! IT’S OKAY TO SAY “NO”
Don’t dive into the holiday season EXPECTING to gain weight.
Having this mindset will inevitably trick you into eating more than you normally would. It is perfectly fine to say yes to a couple treats, but keep in mind it is always okay to tell yourself, or others, “no”. Believe me, I’ve been there. All is fine and dandy because its “the holiday season”, then January rolls around and suddenly you are faced with the guilt of indulging too much from the month prior.
The goal is to maintain a healthy relationship with food, not to feel burdened by it.
Politely decline offers if you must, but if you find yourself in a situation that doesn’t feel appropriate to say “no” (ex: neighbor spends all day baking homemade pie from a family recipe and gladly delivers one to your home), accept it with grace and share later among friends and family so you don’t devour it on your own. I’m sure your kids will thank you.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE DISCOUNTS
As a former fitness studio manager, please believe me when I say gyms are ready to pounce on your post-holiday insecurities. It’s sad but true. Don’t let that be you!
Instead, use this time to take advantage of the amazing deals that are offered throughout the month of January. A quality gym or studio will legitimately show interest in helping you pursue your weight loss goals, not just try to sell you a membership. Do some research before January arrives! Spend some time determining which type of membership is best for you and see which services are offered at different locations.
Once it’s time to get started, you will have already found your ideal gym plus you can utilize special package pricing or additional services that are not normally offered!
DON’T FORGET ABOUT THOSE FREE CLASS OFFERS!
The holidays are a great time to explore different workout styles!
Oftentimes, many studios will offer local residents a free class or a discounted bundle if they have never been to their facility, especially during the holiday season. If you need to entertain your relatives, invite them to try a class with you (just be sure it is inclusive of all ages and abilities…we don’t want Grandma to get run over by an ab dolly).
These types of offers are usually available year round, but are more plentiful during a time of year when people tend to workout less and gyms are heavily marketing their services.Take a spin class, try HIIT (high intensity interval training), earn and burn with a TRX course, the possibilities are endless! Don’t miss out! Variety is the key to hitting those goals.
Last but not least…
DO NOT MAKE A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION
What? Yep. You heard me.
I know this is a rather bold statement for those of you who swear that “this year is the year”, but why wait when you can start implementing small changes NOW?
The holidays can be a challenging time, but it doesn’t mean that starting January 1st you need to cut cold turkey and completely kick all your bad habits out the window. I promise you will be MISERABLE if you go this route. This is where guilt, disordered eating patterns and malnutrition come into play.
I want nothing more than for you to start your year off right and to avoid the post-holiday guilt. By using the aforementioned strategies, you can ease your way into success while simultaneously enjoying your holiday season.