The holidays can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different folks. For most, it’s a time to celebrate with family, friends, and coworkers. For a lucky few, it’s a time to get that Red Ryder BB Gun they’ve always wanted. And for some, the holidays represent a time in which it is frustratingly difficult to keep up with fitness goals.
Throughout the holidays, there is a plethora of food and drinks. This obviously leads to concerns about weight gain. The hot thing for blogs this time of year is to tell you how to “hack the holidays”. These blogs will tell you how to find the best low-calorie options at holiday parties. However, trying to eat healthy at a holiday party can cause mental stress and that’s exactly what you’re trying to get away from by attending a party. Plus, that low-cal “healthy” option is probably not worth it.
Instead, here at Catalyst, we’re firm believers in moderation around the holidays. Have some of those sweets and enjoy them guilt-free. An extra cookie or slice of pie isn’t going to derail all the hard work you’ve put in the past few months.
Of course, moderation is not the sexy thing to say in this day and age of restrictive diets. So here are some of our favorite tips when it comes to the holiday buffet table:
Eating sweets in moderation does not mean you eat only sweets for dinner. Add some of those cute baby carrots and fresh fruit slices to your plate.
Bring your own healthy options to the holiday party. And just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it has to be boring! The internet if full of fun ideas like pirate ship pineapple boats…
It’s easy to overeat and overindulge at a party if you arrive starving. Instead, eat a light (healthy) snack before arriving. Eating something healthy beforehand can also help reduce the guilt of eating that extra bit of dessert.
One of the things that has stuck with me from college nutrition class is the saying, “you can always go back for seconds.” Serve yourself a reasonable amount of food and if you’re still hungry once you’ve finished, you can always go back for seconds. This is better than dishing up too much food as you’ll feel obligated to finish everything even after being full.
Celebrating with some cocktails? Don’t forget to keep hydrating with water as well.
In addition to parties, the holidays can also be filled with stress. One way to combat this stress is by getting some physical activity1. Maintaining your normal workout routine might not be possible though and that’s okay.
Don’t have a bike with you? Take some time to walk around the neighborhood. Don’t have access to a gym? There are LOTS of great body weight exercises your coach can help you with. You can also combine family/friend time with physical activity time. Your “workout” may not end up very difficult but your family/friends will love spending time with you and you just might find you enjoy it too.
Another way to limit stress is to get enough sleep2. Nap during travel, nap during the game, nap during dinner… With everything going on during the holidays, you might even need to change your workout schedule so you can get a full night’s sleep. For any motivated individual, missing a workout sounds horrible, but continuing to workout without the proper rest is not going to help anyone.
Our last bit of advice? Don’t go out and survive the holidays. Instead, go out and enjoy the holidays. Oh and be sure to save a slice of pie for us here at Catalyst – we’ve got a sweet tooth… Thanks for reading.