Enjoying the holidays while still staying healthy is possible, it just takes a bit of planning – and two key elements: motivation and preparation.
Wellness shock frequently sets in around December 31 when we start to realize that the tightness in our jeans and lack of enthusiasm for our normal 6 a.m. workout aren't going to magically disappear. The #1 New Year's Goal is to get fit and healthy – and it's also the goal most quickly dropped. That's why gym memberships soar during January...but gym attendance dramatically dives in February.
What's the solution? Stick to your fitness goals – or a slightly pared-down version of them – throughout the December holidays and start the New Year feeling confident and proud of your success.
How To Enjoy the Holidays and Adhere to Your Fitness Goals
Plan Each Day's Meals
Family get-togethers, cocktails with the girls, office treats, it seems there is no end to holiday food and drink. You can enjoy holiday treats without breaking your diet, just plan ahead. In December, it's unlikely you can stick to your food plan perfectly but you can make swaps and adjustments each day to plan ahead for holiday events, or make up for unexpected splurges. The key is moderation and portion control: indulge, then resist. Enjoy holiday foods and drinks, just not all of them!
Squeeze in Workouts
The holidays are both enjoyable and disruptive – parties and social activities, school events for the kids, decorating your home, baking and shopping. The chaos may mean you miss your weekly spin class but don't just give up and forget your fitness goals: squeeze in a quick run or a few 10-minute, at-home workouts every day: they add up! (See our list of free online workouts.)
Be Kind to Yourself
Despite best laid plans, you may fail to meet all your fitness goals during the holidays. You may end up sampling a few too many goodies, sipping more cocktails than planned, and missing a few workouts. But that's OK, enjoy the holidays! They only last a few weeks and if you have prepared a plan of action and are motivated, you can survive them intact!
Catherine Russell is Būband's Content Manager