By Jennifer Redd-Lovette
‘Tis the Season for…the holidays. Warm family gatherings, festive cocktail parties, homemade delights, tasty treats, turkey, dressing and eggnog…oh my!
Whether you are working towards a weight loss or fitness goal, or simply maintaining what you have worked so hard for, often the holidays can cause even the most dedicated to get off track. By January 2nd, gyms are full to capacity with good-willed folks looking to undo the damage that occurred during this “most wonderful time of the year.” By following just a few simple tips, you can be sure that you don’t have to fall into this “annual tradition.”
Develop a plan
Let’s be real…schedules are crazy during the holidays! With this fast-paced season upon us, it’s even more difficult to stay committed to a workout routine. Planning ahead can help you avoid putting exercise on the back burner. The most helpful piece of advice is to stick to your routine! Make an appointment with yourself to exercise, just like you do other important commitments in your life. Waiting to exercise when it’s “convenient” is one way to ensure that your workouts won’t make the cut during the holiday hustle and bustle.
Keep a food journal
A little nibble here…a little bite there…it’s incredibly easy to consume unnecessary calories during festive events. One way to track your food and beverage consumption is by keeping a food journal. A food journal is a highly effective tool that helps you to monitor what you consume, especially during special occasions. Seeing your choices in black and white has a way of bringing real clarity to your food and beverage habits. Oh, and remember to count the cocktails…YIKES! Liquid calories add up quickly.
Bring a healthy dish
Have you ever been to a gathering where there were no healthy options on the buffet table? Once you’ve decided to make healthier choices, that can be a very frustrating experience. It’s difficult to make good choices when there are no healthy foods available. You can make sure that doesn’t happen by supplying a fresh and healthy option yourself! Trade the heavier, high-calorie dishes for more waist-friendly appetizers and dishes. Another tip is to always eat a healthy snack before you go to an event. Taking the edge off of your appetite will help you to stay on track.
Keep a positive attitude
Attitude is everything. You can stay on track if you think you can. There will be plenty of opportunities to make good choices in the weeks to come. However, if you do happen to slip up (and we all will), recognize that it’s not the end of the world. Simply put it behind you and move on with a positive attitude and recommit to better choices.
There is little doubt that it can be challenging to stay focused on our health during the holidays. However, my hope is that with these tips you will experience a healthier holiday season. It certainly takes some old-fashioned discipline, but it is possible to stay on track. Give yourself the best gift ever this year. Take your health seriously and get a leg up on those New Year’s goals. Starting the year off right begins NOW!
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