Hope you all are having a great week! We’ve had a few chilly days this week which makes going out for walks a little difficult with the little one. We don’t have one of those nifty weather covers for the stroller so I don’t venture out for a walk with her unless it’s at least 45/50 degrees with no wind. Definitely need to invest in a weather shield!
Not going for many walks this week reminded me of how little most people move during the winter because of the temperature, and throw in the holidays in there as well, and you’ve got a great recipe for gaining weight throughout the winter months. It’s a special balance between enjoying holiday treats and food and still maintaining healthy nutrition and fitness goals. I have a few tips for you today that’ll hopefully help you get through the holidays without gaining weight and feeling strong while still enjoying the treats!
1.) The ‘Holidays’ are only a couple of days
We think of the ‘holidays’ being from Thanksgiving (or really Halloween, when you’re thinking about when nutrition starts to go downhill at the end of the year) all the way through New Year’s or even Valentine’s Day. Therefore, the second Halloween or Thanksgiving comes around it’s almost like a continuing unhealthy eating fest for weeks on end. We need to remember that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are all individual days. Enjoy your treats ON THOSE DAYS! Yes, Christmas cookies will be around all December and through January, but enjoying too many of these treats every day can lead to weight gain, sluggishness, lack of self control, poor workouts, etc. Enjoy the pies and cookies and breads (and all the food) on the actual holidays themselves, and be more mindful of your eating throughout the rest of the months.
2.) Focus on the experience and holiday more than the food
Most of the upcoming holidays are very ‘food focused’. I totally get that. I love food and I love celebrating any occasion with food, but maybe this year you start focusing on the holiday and memories with family and friends more than the food. Maybe start a new tradition of a family hike on Thanksgiving morning or a family game night on Christmas Eve. Focus on the reason we celebrate Christmas, Christ being born to save us. Focus on the reason for Thanksgiving, be thankful for everything we have, including our health. Focus on making the holidays about experiences and time with family vs. how much pie or cookies we can eat just because ‘it’s the holidays’.
3.) Get a good workout on the ‘big meal’ days
If you’re having a ‘big meal’ day, i.e., Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve/Day, holiday work party, New Year’s Party, etc, make sure you get a solid workout in BEFORE you eat. Set yourself up for success by starting your day with a good workout. The workout should include some kind of hard cardio (i.e., sprints) and heavy weight lifting. Preferably, work bigger muscles to help burn more calories, so a leg and glute workout would be a good choice.
4.) Have protein and fats first
Protein and fats are the most satiating nutrients. If you eat these first at each holiday meal, you’ll feel fuller and be more able to control your portion sizes when it comes to the heavy carbs and dessert. Therefore, start each meal with the protein and fats first. Have some turkey and gravy before diving into the rolls and potatoes and pie.
5.) Grab small portions to start
It’s so easy to load up our plates full of all the turkey and ham AND all the green bean casserole AND all the potatoes AND all the sweet potato casserole AND all the rolls AND….I could go on right? We get so excited about these yummy foods that we only get a couple times a year that we go overboard and get way too much of each thing and eat it all. I know I certainly love the sight of a full plate of food and I always feel the need to ‘clean my plate’. Anyone else? This year, try to get small (very small) portions of each thing that you want. You can always go back for more food if you’re genuinely still hungry, but starting small will help eliminate overeating on every single food item.
6.) Be mindful of your goals
If you have fitness or nutrition goals, keep those in mind throughout the holiday season. When you reach for that fourth (or more realistically, 8th) Christmas cookie, remember your goal to feel healthier and stronger, and if you’re truly hungry, opt for some protein instead. Remember how you usually feel when you’ve eaten too much (bloated, uncomfortable, sick, sluggish, etc) and remember that you don’t want to feel that way!
Hopefully these tips will help you (and myself haha) stay in control of your nutrition and truly enjoy this holiday season without guilt!
Reminder that you can still get my Ski Legs Program to keep those summer legs throughout the holidays! Only $15 and all workouts can be done at home! Sign up here!
Have a great weekend!
Until next time,