5 WAYS TO SURVIVE THE HOLIDAYS WITHOUT GAINING A POUND!
The holidays are a wonderful time to enjoy family and friends, give gifts to those we care about, and… eat lots of delicious food! This is a difficult time of year to maintain your weight, but it is possible! Try these 5 ways to survive the holidays without gaining a pound. You’ll lower your stress level, eat healthier, and feel amazing for those holiday parties that last late into the evening.
1. Do Some Yuletide Yoga
Whether you do videos at home or join a hot power yoga studio in your hometown to warm up on those chilly winter nights, yoga is an awesome way to survive the holidays. Choose a flow that gets you moving, like power or flow yoga, to help shed a few pounds along the way. Once you push through the learning curve and learn the basic moves, you might even find a class that throws hand-weights into the practice for an incredibly toned body.
The best thing about yoga is that it really reduces your stress levels. Let go of all that time you spent decorating the house or shopping for gifts and enjoy a little “me-time.” When you’re done, you’ll feel like you just had a relaxing massage! Start a yoga class to tone your body and get rid of that holiday stress.
2. Update Your Comfort Food
When the snow starts to fall, so do our inhibitions! And everyone wants to enjoy some delicious comfort food. The good news is that you don’t have to give up your favorite winter meals! Swap in turkey for the beef in your chili recipe and replace mayonnaise with Greek yogurt in your favorite party dip. You’ll still enjoy your favorite meals, but your winter waistline will appreciate the simple swap! Add some veggies to your favorite winter soup for even better nutrition and also to keep the festiveness more “filling”, but for fewer calories.
Quality ingredients will leave you with more energy while still giving you the warm, comforting taste of the foods you love most. Consider adding soup to your recipe arsenal at least twice a week between Thanksgiving and the end of the year. If you make a big batch, you can have leftovers for days to come, and this can make the holi-daze laziness work in your favor! Because let’s face it, why cook from scratch when you’ve got grab-n-go soup? The high liquid content of soup will make you feel full, so you can eat a lot of it and still come out with great numbers on your scale and run time the next day.
3. Give the Gift That Keeps on Giving (Exercise) to a Friend
It’s hard to stay accountable to your exercise regimen during the busy holiday season. But you probably have lots of friends who want to avoid gaining weight during this time, too – and if they’re anything like mine,… once their end of year vacation/days off kick in, they might actually be ITCHING to get out of the house and into the gym, if only an hour a day! So don’t be an Health Elf on the Shelf! Find one (a friend, that is) and start exercising together to stay accountable, and reward yourselves with something great on New Year’s Day to kick off your resolutions (for a great guide on how do this responsibly, check out our post on enjoying your HOLIDAY CHEER WITHOUT THE FEAR, to help guide your booze-buying decisions). You’re more likely to stick with an exercise program if you work out with someone else, so make a plan today to exercise with a friend.
4. Try a New Year, New You Recipe
Scour the internet for a new, healthy, and delicious recipe to try this weekend. Do it right now! (Well, after you’re done reading this super-sweet blog post). There are lots of great ideas out there, so try one that fits your style. It’ll keep things interesting, and you might even start a new tradition! Look for a recipe that’s relatively easy and has high ratings (fewer than 8 total ingredients usually fits the bill as easy, and also affordable). If you plan to eat healthy meals, it’ll be easier to avoid gaining weight during the holidays – remember, going plan-less leads to fat-ness! Also, once you get the hang of your new fav meal, make sure you can easily cook it in large batches to scale, so that your other scale will thank you!
5. Make a Conscious, Rare Treat Out of Eating Out
Realistically, we’ll all make some bad food choices at holiday parties and gatherings with friends and family. But a few bad choices won’t ruin your diet. Just make sure you get right back to eating healthy when the party’s over. And moreover, it’s not going to be the few grand “feast-o-palooza” moments with family and friends that do your waistline in,… it’s going to be the constant snack-mageddon assault on your senses! It will be all around you,… in the retail stores, at the grocery market, at the mall, even outside your favorite gym! Snacks and samples, the death of all well-laid nutritional plans, even in the stoutest holiday heart! And honestly, it’s easy to eat out when you’re shopping and running from place to place. One great life hack is to use a slow-cooker or plan simple, fast meals so you’re not tempted to buy expensive, high-calorie lunches and dinners when spreading joy from place to place around town. Another great way to look at this is through the lens of your holiday food budget, and simply gather together all of your pennies into ONE BIG FEAST, where you eat what you want, but then that’s it. Done. Finito. No more. Taking great moments like this help to build memories and positive psychological behaviors, while reinforcing moderation in your plan the other 90% of the time. Remember, HOLD OUT TO GO OUT!
Above all, remember to approach the holidays with moderation and try not to torture yourself. If you think that one more bit is going to put you over the edge and prohibit ambulatory movement from the food court out into the hustle and bustle of the mainstream shopping mall corridor, then for Pete’s sake put that Häagen–Dazs down and regain control. Exploding your jeans (and general sense of self worth for the evening) just isn’t worth it! 😉 With these simple steps, you won’t have trouble maintaining your weight during the busy holiday season. Enjoy time with family and friends and look amazing all season long. For more information on keeping that great figure, finding delicious meals, or engaging with us on your fitness journey with a boot camp experience tailored to your needs, check out the rest of our Fit Farm website today!