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HOW TO STAY FIT DURING THE HOLIDAYS?

The Holiday Season is here once again, or as I like to call it, The Food Season! While this time of year is full of wonderful times with family and friends, it is also a time full of tempting, delicious foods that we all know and love. Of course these foods are fine in moderation, but having several big holidays within weeks of one another can bombard us with what seems like non-stop food platters, pies, cakes, cookies, and more! This can be detrimental to our fitness goals if we don’t approach the holidays with the correct mindset.

So this year, let’s set ourselves up for success! I have five tips to help you get through the holiday season without reversing all of the hard work and effort that you have put into your fitness journey thus far, even if you do decide to indulge a little here and there this winter.

Tip #1: Stick to your current routine.

The Holiday Season comes and many of us throw our regular routine out the window. All of our time and energy goes into these big holidays, and we forget all about our health. What’s worse, we may even use the holidays as an excuse to eat more and exercise less. This will only set us back in achieving our fitness goals.

I am very guilty of this. I have taken weeks off from training just because I wanted to enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas. This however all came at a price. I overindulged in the food and was not exercising regularly, so naturally I put on some pounds. Speaking from experience, your progress is not worth it.

So for the holidays this year, continue to make you fitness and health a priority by sticking to you current routine. Even if the gym is closed, work out at home using one of the thousands of YouTube workout videos out there. Do this during your regularly scheduled gym time. Stick to your nutritious diet despite the various holiday parties and celebrations as well. Keep doing what you have been doing to get your results so far! This will certainly help you to stay on track.

Tip #2: On the day of a holiday party/ holiday feast, eat a healthy breakfast and lunch.

Similar to sticking to your routine, make sure you eat a healthy breakfast and lunch (like you normally do). I have skipped all meals just so I could gorge when it was time for the big holiday feast. This will undoubtedly set you up for failure. As they say one bad habit leads to another and so forth. Eating your normal healthy meals throughout the day will help keep you from overindulging so much in the less healthy foods later on in the day. You will be too filled up from your previous meals to do so. Choose foods with lots of fiber and protein like oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, eggs, and low fat dairy products. These foods will keep you satiated for longer periods of time.

Tip #3: Drink lots of water throughout the day, but especially right before the holiday feast.

A study published in Obesity found that drinking two eight ounce glasses of water before consuming a meal led to less food consumption in middle-aged and older adults ages 55-75 years of age. This in conjunction with cutting calories led to greater weight loss than just cutting calories alone. Try doing this before your holiday feast as it may help with appetite control. This is something that can be done on a daily basis to help keep you on track as well.

Tip# 4: Get a good night’s rest the night before

The Journal of Sleep Research published a study on the relationship between sleep deprivation and hunger from just one night of little to no sleep. When compared to control subjects, the endocrine hormone ghrelin, which plays a large role in controlling hunger, was elevated by ten percent. If you don’t get your rest before the big feast you could end up eating more than you expected!

Tip #5 Exercise the morning or afternoon of the holiday party/ feast.

I know this may be a tough one to accomplish because most of us are running around like crazy people trying to get everything ready for the holidays, but even a short, intense 20 minute workout can help to offset some of the indulging that will ensue later on. We must manage our calories in as well as our calories out to stay on track.

I hope these tips are helpful to you as we begin the end of another year. Let’s stay focused on what we truly want, and keep fighting for our fitness goals this holiday season instead of letting them take the backseat. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

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Your Trainer,

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