The holidays are upon us which means Christmas parties filled with rich food and tasty drinks, traveling, spending time with friends and/or family, and loads of holiday spirit for some and bah humbug grumpiness for others. For me, it’s the most wonderful time of the year with a touch of sadness as I always miss my mom more during the holidays. It’s a busy season, and I find that a lot of people have trouble staying motivated to eat healthy and workout. Here are some tips to get you through until the New Year:
Keep it short. Most people are on a time crunch this time of year. There are presents to buy, gifts to wrap and parties to attend. Instead of spending an hour at the gym, do a little something every day. Here’s an example of a short workout you can do at home:
10 min AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of:
5 pike push ups
10 sit ups
Wake up early. Once the day gets going it’s often difficult to find the time to fit in a workout. It seems like something always comes up. Getting your workout done first thing in the morning not only helps ensure that you get it in, but it also sets you up for success by increasing your energy for the day and keeping you mindful of what you eat.
Get a buddy. Waking up early is hard. If you have a gym buddy you’ll be more likely to stick to your workouts. After all, you wouldn’t want to leave anyone hanging. A study from the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University, surveyed married couples who joined health clubs together and found that couples who worked out separately had a 43 percent dropout rate over the course of a year. Those who went to the gym together, regardless of whether they focused on the same type of exercise, had only a 6.3 percent dropout rate.
Don’t skip meals. Saving up all your calories for that party later may seem like a good idea in theory. The problem is that when people skip meals, they tend to have an all out binge fest when finally able to eat again. Instead, eat a healthy breakfast, a light lunch and a small snack. This will take the edge off your appetite and make it a lot easier to empower restraint when you get to that party.
Drink water. Some people confuse thirst with hunger. At a minimum, drink half your body weight in ounces. A good rule of thumb is to drink an 8 oz glass of water 20-30 minutes before each meal and an another 8 oz glass of water after each bathroom break.
Don’t try to lose weight. This isn’t the time to start a new fitness program. If you maintain your current weight, you’ll be winning compared to most Americans, who typically gain 10 lbs over the holidays.
Indulge. That’s right. Indulge. Just be sensible about your portions. Eat 2 gingerbread cookies instead of 10. Instead of drinking egg nog all night, drink 1/2 cup to satiate the craving and then switch to vodka and sparkling water or whiskey and diet coke. Have fun and enjoy yourself!