Holiday Survival Guide 101: Be Merry in Moderation
- By Marxel Leobez, YG Studios
It’s a given, during the holiday season the average person will be lax if not lazy when it comes to keeping a clean lean diet. And who wouldn’t be with all those sweet and traditional festive eats that are high in sugar and calories?
The rule of thumb to keeping trim during the holidays and staying focused on your fitness goals and diet is…wait for it…to be realistic and practical within your jam packed schedule filled with eating and drinking/ social events.
Realistically you are going to probably cheat and have a few (note a few) sinful deserts and fatty foods at a booze filled company holiday party because socially you don’t want to look bad in front of the boss…plus it’s a good excuse to down some nachos, brownies and spiked holiday punch. However, you can still have fun being realistic and practical as long as you do some planning and follow this Holiday Survival Guide 101:
- Prioritize Your Fitness Schedule. Your Fitness schedule should still be a numero uno priority. Commitments and time availability may change but don’t make excuses to not be flexible and plan out what group fitness class you can go to, or when you can at least get 30/40 mins in a gym.
- Up the Cardio/High Intensity Training. Plan to do a little more cardio than usual (preferably in the morning). Especially the day prior, day of and post an event where you know you may cheat. If you are consistent enough leading up to a week of holiday events there is something magical called the after burn which means your metabolism is revved up and ready to fight fat cells creeping up on you like little gremlins.
- Lesser Evils & Portion Control: Pretty simple, you would be surprised how cool you will look and how full you will fill post devouring a vegetable platter with some guacamole dip. If you have the option between a double fudge brownie or ice cream, choose one and give yourself the gift of not beating yourself up later. If you have been already choosing lesser evils throughout your social schedule it is okay to cheat but again moderation is the name of the game.
- Bring Healthy Options to Parties: Have some fun and play with some healthier versions of traditional holiday meals, such as mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. GIVE YOURSELF the option by providing it.
- Hydrate: DRINK LOTS OF WATER. The less you do the more dehydrated you will feel and the more confused your brain will be. A confused brain starved of electrolytes will often resort to prompting higher cravings for salt and sugar which in turn make you more dehydrated and crave more crap you don’t need.
- Eat Like a Chipmunk. Eat small portions of healthy snacks throughout the day to curb cravings. Carrots, sunflower seeds and plant based shakes will make you less likely to be a starving animal at your uncle's Christmas Eve Party.
- Drink Smart and in Moderation. Limit yourself to 1-2 drinks that are not sugary with an excessive amount of additives. So skip the spiked egg nog. And remember you don’t have to drink at EVERY holiday / family party you have.
- Relax and Enjoy Yourself. Cortisol production from you being stressed out about having totally cleaned out half a tray of donuts doesn’t make the situation any better. The same goes for getting worked up that you missed a huge holiday sale item. Breathe. It is okay if you fudge (as long as it's not a lot of fudge) here and there. Be okay with the mistakes just don’t repeat them.
The holidays are a great test of our patience and discipline. Take note what you could and could not stick to and if you feel that you did things sub par…it's okay, a brand new year is around the corner!