With American Thanksgiving just around the corner and Christmas decorations everywhere, it’s time to gear up for the holiday season. Whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Diwali, or some other occasion, there are likely to be lots of sweet treats, family parties, and delicious cocktails in your near future. While I’m all for celebrating and enjoying this time of year, I also know that it can be one of the toughest for staying healthy and motivated and not getting caught up in gluttony and guilt.
That’s why I wanted to share a few tips to keep you on track over the holidays. If you overindulge, don’t worry! Just be sure to employ these tips to get back to your healthy habits.
Put it in Your Calendar
Physical activity tends to slow down during December, but it doesn’t have to! There are plenty of ways to get moving, including going for a walk, doing a quick workout in your living room, or embracing winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. If you pencil activities into your calendar ahead of time, you’ll be more likely to follow through.
Recruit a Workout Buddy
Even better than just putting it in your calendar is inviting a friend to join you! I’ve been dragging my husband along to yoga with me this month, and it’s helping us both get our physical activity in, and stay motivated. Starting a Facebook group is another way to get friends involved and support each other throughout the holidays - and the year to come!
Sign Up for a Challenge
Fitness challenges are a great way to either stay in shape over the holidays, OR to get in shape for the new year! If you sign up for a run in January or February, you’ll want to start training now so that you’ll be ready to go when the time comes. Again, this is something you can do with a buddy, to make it fun and to stay on track!
When it comes to eating (and life!) slowing down can make a big difference. By really enjoying your food, and learning to tune into your body’s true hunger and fullness cues, you end up not overeating, and truly enjoying the meal in front of you. Try this with treats at the office: really take in your food with all of your senses. Pick up the treat, feel its texture, smell its aroma, and take in the way it looks with your eyes. Then take a slow bite. Chew. If you find after three bites that you want the rest of it, go for it. But many times you’ll notice that if you really savour them, a few bites are enough!
I’m serious! Fear of gaining weight (or any fear, really) should never keep you from living life. By really enjoying the treats you give yourself, you’re telling your body you care about it and want to treat it well - not starve it or deny it of pleasure. The trick here is to not go overboard, and to balance it out with healthy homecooked meals, lots of water, and those activity dates you’ll be going on with friends! There are also great ways to make some of your favourite dishes a bit healthier (including cocktails), and I’ll be sharing those recipes throughout the coming weeks on both my Recipes page and Instagram. Be sure to check them out!
As we move into the holidays I want to hear from you. What helps you stay on track? What tips and advice would you share with others who are looking for a healthy, happy holiday season? Let me know in the comments below!