For many, the holiday season means stressing over calories, feeling guilty for overeating and experiencing frustration because you can’t seem to resist the food at all those holiday parties. Some of you may be groaning, thinking “It’s November and she’s writing about this now?!” That’s right, I am and that’s because planning ahead can help! Read on to discover how you can enjoy Christmas without the (food) stress and how to stay on track during the holidays.
Don’t ditch your jumprope
Christmas is a distracting time of year. Evenings and weekends become consumed with Christmas shopping, get togethers, receptions and what not and before you know it, you haven’t been to the gym in a week. My tip? Make it a priority NOT to skip the gym for ANYTHING. Exercise is inevitably connected to good eating. If you stay on track with exercise, you are less likely to overindulge. Going to the gym keeps you accountable, you’ll feel fit and healthy and probably don’t want to ruin that by overeating. Do your best to complete at least half of your weekly workouts during the Christmas season. If you are really busy, you can try to change the time of your regular workouts. Try a lunch time run or break a sweat in the evening instead. The change in routine will also help freshen up your fitness regime and remember, differentiation is good!
Before the party there is FOOD!
If you starve yourself before a Christmas get together in an attempt to ‘save’ calories, you’ll might end up eating triple the amount of food. So before you leave the house, make a conscious effort to drink your water and eat your food like you normally would. By the time you arrive at the party, you’ll be feeling healthy and good about yourself for eating so well. In fact, you’ll be feeling so good, you won’t want to ruin that feeling by overeating.
Planning makes perfect
Let’s face it: this is a time of celebration and part of what makes it wonderful are all the delicious treats. Go ahead and enjoy and remind yourself that everything good comes in moderation! There is a fine line between indulging and overindulging. So make the holidays special by choosing a few special things to indulge in. You can do this like so:
Step One: Take a calendar and circle the dates of upcoming gatherings (including parties and family dinners).
Step Two: Jot down all of the details about each gathering: where it’s held, how many of your friends are attending, whether or not it’s for work, etc.
Step Three: Rank the gatherings from one to five according to the parties you are most looking forward to. Take the top two (or three depending how many there is in total!) gatherings and decide that you will you allow yourself to indulge at these ones, you might know what is on the menu and what you will be having then you can make choices beforehand that will allow you to really enjoy it!
The whole point is to structure and plan. Planning ahead will make you set an intention in your mind not to overindulge and makes you more likely to stick with it.
I myself have a calendar for almost everything and I also use it to plan out a strategy when I know I’m going to need it! I tend to ask myself what food will be there? What temptations might I encounter? How will I deal with it? I’ll come up with my strategies and I’ll map it out.
Example: A theater reception party
- Eat normal the whole day, no extra’s.
- Examine menu or buffet and choose the most veggie-laden option.
- Pass on the boozy drinks, just have drink water.
- If tempted to eat more than you need, get up on the dance floor!
Example: December 26th with the girlfriends
- Volunteer to have it at my place so I know what kind of foods are there and make sure there are no leftovers by telling everyone to bring their plastic containers and by donating to charity.
- Practice saying: that was delicious but I’ll pass on seconds, thanks!
- Schedule a gym class for the next day to get the endorphins buzzing as soon as possible.
I hope these tips come in handy and I would love to hear from you in the comments or on instagram @ily_fitgirl. My sister and I will start a new tradition this year of ‘2-a-days’, which means an extra workout before breakfast this holiday season. Sure, we’ll pop a bottle of bubbly here and there and eat some Surinamese goodness afterwards – but it’s all about balance, right?