Temptation is endless during the holidays – work parties, family dinners, baked goodies, gifts, Christmas shopping and many other things can get in the way of staying fit over the holidays.
Letting yourself indulge a little bit is completely understandable at this time of year, but don’t let yourself fall completely off-track. While you will likely make some concessions over the holidays, diet and fitness should not be one of them.
Avoid the temptation to think you will just get back on track in the new year. With this mindset, you will be playing catch-up. It’s easy to put on some weight, but you can minimize the impact of your holiday fun with these tips to stay fit:
- Start now
What are you waiting for? Don’t wait for the holidays to roll around before you commit to staying slender. Be proactive and start implementing your plan to keep fit today.
- Use a smaller plate
Did you know that simply using a smaller plate will help you eat less? People tend to fill the plate they are given, regardless of its size. Filling a smaller plate will help you practice portion control and consume fewer calories.
Walk as much as possible during the holidays. Every extra calorie burned counts. Take the stairs, park farther away when shopping, take your dog out for an extra-long walk and add a walk after big meals to burn some extra calories.
- Adjust meals around holiday outings
If you know you have a big family dinner coming up in the evening, you can adjust your meals earlier that day to ensure you don’t eat more than you need. Consuming fewer calories during the day leading up to a big dinner will help you keep your calorie count under control.
- Schedule your time at the gym
With so much going on at this time of year, it’s easy to skip going to the gym, even though you know you should go. To avoid missing a workout, make sure to schedule your gym time each week. Block out time for exercise and plan other holiday activities around it. The gym is a great way to not only burn calories, but also to relieve stress.
- Don’t give in to peer pressure
It’s easy to give in to pressure from friends and family during the holidays. Remember, you don’t need to have more potatoes or eat that second piece of pie. Stick to your plan and eat reasonably sized portions, and you will be able to stay on track.
- Drink water
People drink less water during the winter. This is a big no-no. In addition to replacing water with other high-calorie drinks, such as eggnog, hot chocolate and speciality coffees, they tend to drink less water. Even though it’s cold outside, do your best to drink eight to 10 glasses of water each day. It will help with digestion, clear out toxins from your body and help keep you energetic.
- Ramp up the cardio
We all know we are going to eat more than we need to over the holidays. One way to still enjoy your favourite foods and stay fit is to do more aerobic exercise. Schedule a few extra trips to the gym for a run on the treadmill or to do an aerobics class. You can also extend the amount of time you currently spend for your cardio workouts to burn extra calories.
- Plan your cheat meals in advance
You know when you are most likely to cheat – Christmas dinner, your work party and holiday parties. Schedule these as your cheat meals and eat well during the rest of the holidays. Enjoying a cheat meal here and there won’t hurt. Just make sure you don’t turn your cheat meals into epic cheat days.
Need some help staying motivated to exercise over the holidays? Try these Wonderful workouts.