The holidays are a time to kick back, enjoy time with family and friends, and indulge in good food, good drinks, and all-around good times. But taking too great of a detour from your fitness and nutritional routine could cause more trouble than just your physical progress. It can do a number on your motivation and confidence as well. We’re all familiar with the concept of moderation and know that “cheat days” are essential to progress and avoiding burnout. But, even recovery and holiday cheer should be taken in stride before you fall too far down the rabbit hole and spend the first part of 2014 driving yourself crazy in the gym and in the kitchen. The below is my rationale to surviving the holidays – to not only enjoy myself, but to close out the year feeling stronger and better than ever. You can indulge without the guilt, and without forgoing the progress you EARNED in the gym.
Pick one: If you can’t have it all, pick one to maintain: training or diet. If you know you’ll be in the car all day and know once you arrive to your holiday destination you’ll miss your workout make sure to keep your diet relatively clean. Likewise, if you wake up and your mom is making chocolate croissants and mimosas for breakfast you’re basically screwed!!! It’s way too delish to pass up. Just go ahead and eat it, sleep off your sugar and champy high and then KICK. YOUR. OWN. ASS. that afternoon by doing the workout below.
Plan your plate: That holiday buffet is a total menace. Take your plate and fill it 2/3 of the way full with lean protein and veggies. With that little sliver you have left over, let yourself splurge on a sweet or savory treat.
Time your meals: Just like you’re probably doing right now, continue eating 5-6 small meals. Doing so will abolish cravings and hunger pains. This automatically gives you less of an opportunity to splurge on empty calories or to eat everything in sight just because YOU’RE STARVING! You’ll be less likely to load up on appetizers or cocktails because you’ll have been keeping your metabolism charged and hunger at bay throughout the day.
Offer to contribute: Offer to bring a healthy side dish or appetizer. Not only will your host/hostess thank you for your generosity, but you’ll also be guaranteed to have something healthy to snack on. Stay tuned for recipe posts to foster some creativity. The key to this is to create a dish to share that is not only healthy, but also tasty. Do NOT be that person…”Mmmm celery, SO delish and satisfying.” Please. You’re not fooling anyone and no one will appreciate your “efforts.”
Make it a family affair: Grab your little brother, best friend’s big sister, brother-in-law and your uncle Bob and do THREE rounds of the below. Whoever finishes last has to do the dishes…or something…make it a little competitive to up the fun factor and incentivize movement! Unfamiliar with Star Jumps?! They’re awesome. Get the “how to” here.
Image via: Harpers Bazaar