How to stay on track during Christmas?
Updated: Dec 23, 2021
Christmas holiday it's the time of indulgence and joy. Don't we all love to gather with the family and friends around the tables. It's the time when we enjoy the comfort of the warm and cosy indoors, with a glass of wine or hot chocolate. It seems like it's almost impossible to 'be good' and healthy. But, is it possible to keep ourselves in check and still enjoy the Christmas festivities? Christmas is limited to one day but often monopolises the second half or even the whole month, we take some time off work and many of our day to day routines are falling out of sync. With all the disruption maintaining our fitness and nutrition habits may become a challenge. Whilst the overwhelming majority of people would disagree, it's actually possible to loose or maintain body weight in the month of December (who would thought?!)
December doesn't have to be an expected failure.
Now, imagine going into the New Year feeling healthy and happy with your body and the choices that you have made. It is possible to relax and enjoy yourself without undoing all the hard work. How?
To succeed it is important to plan ahead, avoid 'extremes' and focus on more healthy balance.
Here are few tips to survive 'the season for indulgence'.
Tip#1. Think ahead.
If you know dinner is going to be a huge feast, limit your portion size for breakfast and lunch, also opt for higher protein meals. Don't skip your meals. Enjoy your event and go right back to your regular eating plan the next meal/day. Having pre-cooked meals in the freezer or using leftovers to create a small portion of a healthy meal is a lot easier to stick to it too.
When stacking your plate full of yummy holiday dinner food, go veggie heavy. Make sure at least half of your plate is comprised of fruits or vegetables. It will fill you up with fibre and make you will satiated for longer.
Make sure you stay hydrated, prepare a bottle of water and have approximately 2 litres per day, drink 1-2 glasses of water with every meal. Drinking water, not only helps your body function properly but it can also help to keep you feeling full before and during meals. In addition, water is also a great choice to have as a substitute for alcohol.
Tip#2. Get moving.
Although the holidays are certainly a time for relaxation, they are also a time for fun with your family. Instead of spending an hour at the gym each day, when you could be spending time with your family, make getting active a part of your family activities. Take the kids to an outdoor skating rink, go for a walk, or participate in organised activities. Recommended daily walking distance is 5km which is approximately a 60 min walk, sounds realistic, doesn't it?
Take an advantage of the time off work to participate in outdoor activities, or even try to incorporate gym session. You might find that with being off, it is actually easier to fit training in your busy schedule.
"Today I will love myself enough to stay on track"
Tip #3 Remember you goals and why you started.
When you're struggling to turn down that second serving of dessert or glass of wine, it can be helpful to remember why you started in the first place.
Whether your goals are purely aesthetic or have a deeper reason, like being able to run and play with your kids or maintain health so that you can be around long enough to meet your grand-kids. Whatever your goal and reason for getting healthy is, use it as motivation to help yourself stay on track during the holidays.
Tip #4 Be mindful of alcohol
Know your limits, especially if there is free alcohol involved. Sip your beverages slowly and enjoy them rather than binge drinking. Drinking water in between or chewing your ice also helps keep you hydrated and avoid hangovers.
Chose alcohol with a lower sugar and calorific content. Prosecco or wine are better choice in comparison to cocktails or beer.
Tip #5 - Don't beat yourself up.
We know there is going to be more temptation around. More time at other people’s houses/restaurants, where you can’t control what is there. What you can control is your choices and make the healthiest choices you can. Have that chocolate, have that drink BUT don’t overindulge. Think before and mentally prepare yourself for what might be. You might lapse and what you have to remember that set backs are part of the process, but next day you are back on track and in control.
The holidays are joyful time filled with family, love, and happiness. If stressing over your diet or fitness goals is stopping you from enjoying time with your loved ones then just forget about it. The holidays only last for so long and can only set you back so far. What is more important than staying on track during the holidays is spending time with loved ones. Enjoy the time that you have, try to find a happy balance between making healthy choices and enjoying these precious moments. And remember, if you fall off track, you can always get right back on.
Enjoy the holiday season and try to make healthy choices for yourself and your family. Remember why you started and keep working towards your goals every day.