Holiday Fitness Tips
The average American gains anywhere from 5 lbs. to 12 lbs. between Thanksgiving and New Year’s!
So before we kick off this month and a half marathon of good times and overindulging, let me weigh in with 5 tips to help you minimize setbacks and stay on track with your fitness goals between now and January 1st.
1. Schedule Your Workouts Ahead Of Time. As busy and as stressful as the holidays are, it is important to maintain some sort of physical activity. It is OK to go for shorter duration, higher intensity workouts here such as intervals or circuits. Just get it in. A 20-30 minute bodyweight circuit is a lot better than nothing at all. Short duration, high-intensity workouts can create a caloric after burn known as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) which allows your body to continue burning calories up to 24 hours after your workout is over.
2. Don’t Starve Yourself In Anticipation Of The Big Meal. Holding off for that big meal will most likely cause you to overeat, going back for seconds and thirds. Have something light but high-protein and filling like eggs for breakfast. Then, when it’s time for the big meal, start with a side salad before you dive into the main course.
3. Don’t Save Unhealthy Leftovers. This one is always tough for me. I love my Grandma’s stuffing, but when Thanksgiving is over, Grandma’s stuffing has got to stay at Grandma’s house. I don’t need to be eating Thanksgiving dinner five days in a row and I recommend you don’t either if you have fitness and nutrition goals you are trying to accomplish. Stock up on the leftover white meat and veggies instead.
4. Stick To Low-Calorie Drinks. Most alcohol holds little to no nutritional value. No big surprise there. But it’s the holidays, and for many this includes enjoying a few drinks with family and friends. Be mindful of holiday drinks, most have a ton of extra calories from sugars, syrups, and creams. Your best low-calorie option is to go with liquor (whiskey, vodka, tequila, brandy, gin, etc.) on the rocks or with a zero-calorie mixer like club soda or diet soda. If that’s not your thing then go with wine or light beer.
Read Also: How To Drink Alcohol And Still Lose Weight
5. Try Mindful Eating. Fit everything in the main course onto one plate including dessert. Give yourself a 15-20 minute break after finishing this plate before deciding whether or not to eat more. It takes this long for your brain and stomach to register feelings of fullness.
With all of this being said, the holidays are not about fitness or guidelines, they are about spending quality time with loved ones and friends, and being thankful for them. So be safe, enjoy some good food, maybe a few adult beverages, and when it’s over, get right back on track!
Read Also: How To Recover From An Unhealthy Weekend
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