Ah Staying on “track” during the holidays… You are either all in, or it’s not happening until the new year. This time of the year can be hard to balance a healthy lifestyle simply because things are less routine than usual, tasty foods are ALWAYS available, and you want to prioritize time with family! Understandably, it can be easy to just give in and vow to resume with your healthy habits in the New Year.
Don’t do that!
Use these tips to not only stay on track but to have a more balanced lifestyle this holiday season.
- Make just 1 habit a priority each day!
Now you might be wondering, “Just one habit? What’s the point of just ONE habit?” Well that’s it! It’s completely doable especially during this time of the year to start on just one thing. So many times we have this ALL IN, or ALL OUT attitude.
If you pick one new healthy practice and stay with it through the holiday season, you’ll be MORE than ready for the new year. Here’s an example: if the holiday season stresses you out and you’d like to reduce that stress, you can choose to focus on journaling each morning. The key here is to start small. The first week, meditate for 2 minutes daily. The next week, 5 minutes daily. In a month, you’ll be well on your way to creating a habit that will actually stick!
Sticking to a single positive habit will translate into increased self confidence, and the ability to tackle more challenges in the future, instead of trying to do too much and giving up.
- Eat protein at each meal
This one should be easily doable considering most Holiday meals have some sort of meat or protein dish. Protein helps with satiety and reducing hunger because of how long it takes for it to move through your digestive tract.
When you fill up on protein you will be less hungry, which means less likely to eat those unhealthy options (or at least smaller portions). With every meal and snack, ask yourself, “does this have a protein source?”
- Make exercise a priority
Even though you’re busy you NEED to prioritize this one! The rule is, if you eat more, you get to move more. People already underestimate their caloric intake by about 1000 calories on average! What happens when you add in the constant snacking and drinking during the holiday season? You have more to burn off than you originally thought.
If your schedule permits, the best way to accomplish this is by getting in exercise first thing in the morning before other distractions can derail you. Simply set your alarm 15 minutes earlier and do a quick outdoor jog, or workout from home.
You will naturally have more energy because of your increased caloric intake, so why not use it to your advantage? Remember exercise can be a family event too! It doesn’t need to be a time where you spend hours doing cardio. Make it a social activity and chances are time will go by faster than you think.
- Indulge on just that DAY
There’s a reason it’s called a HoliDAY. You want to indulge, splurge, and feast during the holiday season, Yes. However, try saving it for that day only, or at most the day after the holiday. On average, Americans eat around 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving day! This might be double or even triple your normal calorie intake!
So what’s the solution? Don’t let the leftover desserts stay in your house for weeks on end. If you want to “stay on track” then throw out things that are not aligned with your lifestyle. Give away leftovers, freeze meals, so they aren’t readily available, or even throw out desserts that you know are your weakness.
This isn’t to say you can never splurge outside of a traditional holiday. But let’s make it worth it when you do! Only indulge in your very favorite things, not every candy dish or pie that catches your eye.
- Be open about your goals
You are going to be talking to family members and close friends anyway, so be open about your new lifestyle or how you are committed to being healthier NOW. You will be surprised at how people will respond and support you. Those that are close to you will care about what you are working towards and want to encourage you along the way.
When you verbalize something, you immediately bring it to existence. Think about the healthy lifestyle you want to enjoy, and you’re real motivation for working towards that every day. Make sure you surround yourself with people who support you and hold you accountable.
If you need more direction on your goals this holiday season, we’re here to help! Let’s set up a time to do a discovery call where we can really dive into your goals for next year!