I love the holidays…the traditions, the time with family…and the food. Oh, the food. The holidays can be a particularly tough time when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s a busy time and fitting in regular activity can be tough. Food is everywhere, and cookies seem to appear out of nowhere every day in my office. It’s just a really hard time of the year to stay on track. To help provide myself some sanity, I have devised a few helpful tools and tricks to use this holiday season.
- First, you must set reasonable expectations. It is a joyous time of year and let’s be honest you will eat some of those cookies…and that’s okay! Don’t expect to hold strong at all times. You need to enjoy your life and sometimes that means eating several of your mom’s homemade oatmeal cookies. Give yourself the freedom to make these choices by establishing guidelines and structure for health in other areas.
- Schedule your workouts. Scheduling workouts allows you to plan your exercise for the week. Sure these plans may have to be adjusted, but try to make a commitment to yourself to stick with what you have scheduled as best as you can. By taking the guesswork out, you will have fewer decisions to make and will be more likely to follow your plan.
- Attend a classe. Sometimes I just don’t feel like preparing my own workouts and keeping myself focused in that workout. For those days, I find it much more successful to join a class at my gym where all I have to do is follow someone else’s instruction.
- Try a new class. I use this time of year to try out new classes to keep myself motivated. Last week, I took a Barre class for the first time. It was a great workout and brought me back to my years of ballet. A few weeks ago I started taking a HIIT spin class. Both of these classes kicked my butt and have helped keep my workouts fresh.
- Never leave home without a snack. You will likely be doing some shopping this holiday season, and don’t let yourself shop on an empty stomach! Either eat before or bring a small snack with you. When I get really hungry, I am much more likely to cave and eat something that is terrible for me.
- When you do decide to indulge in something, make sure the second and third bites are just as good as the first bite. If they aren’t…you are not obligated to continue eating whatever it is.
Have a great holiday season and I hope you enjoy a cookie or two or three!