If there is one thing I have heard repeatedly over the last couple of weeks, it has been people worrying about staying in shape and not gaining weight over the holidays.
Please understand that any advice I offer doesn’t come from a background of nutritional education, a school or a degree.
Where my advice comes from is 10 years struggling with food and exercise choices and 3 years of finally gaining some ground and becoming the person I knew was buried beneath for so long.
One important thing to remember is that no matter how much of my advice you choose to use or disregard, the most critical thing is that you need to find things that work for you. Just because I really like things like the ‘Bring Sally Up’ Squat Challenge, riding 100+ km on my bike or doing a half-marathon, it does not mean that you will embrace them in the same way or that they’ll work for your body or your goals.
All of that being said I know that getting through the holidays without feeling drained and like you’ve taken a big step back in your fitness or nutrition regime can be overwhelming. I hope the following suggestions can help you feel a little more in control.
– Start out every day drinking water. If you don’t like plain water try cutting up some lemons or any combination of fruits and adding them in. I personally feel like it ‘wakes up’ my system and starts my day off on the right foot. Currently my water jug has lemons and cucumbers. Yum!
– Try walking at a reasonable pace for at least 30 minutes either before or after a bigger meal. I found that doing this served a dual purpose by helping to raise my metabolism and I found I would sleep better if I did it around dinner. I highly believe that this also helped my blood sugars stay low when I became a gestational diabetic during my second pregnancy.
– Not eating after 7:30 can be a bit of a struggle during this season as there are many events that are booked for later in the evening. To cope with this I usually try to fit in that 30 minute walk that I referred to before eating I try to fit in a workout midday so that my body is still burning calories well into the time the gathering. It never hurts to add in some fun with these things to (especially at a boot camp) if you want to add in a pair of reindeer antlers or some festive gear. If not, maybe some holiday music in that workout playlist?
– If going to a potluck/buffet style dinner instead filling up a plate with as much as I can, I take a little taste of each of the things I want. This helps me to leave not feeling uncomfortably full and yet still satisfied.
– Don’t make January 1st the day you begin this. Start changing things up now so that you start your momentum for the new year now. You will be more likely to continue those positive behaviors if you don’t associate them with a date but rather jump right in. Trust me when I say the water is fine!
– Practice some self-love during the holidays and don’t forget that the season is not about making sure everything is perfect but rather living in the moment. The biggest and best present we can give our family and friends is to be present for each interaction.
Again, I am not a professional. I am simply someone who wants to see the people in her life be successful in their efforts and who wants to help where she can. If you are really concerned about your progress and don’t think you can do it on your own it never hurts to consult your doctor or a nutritionist. Above all else love yourself regardless of that number on the scale and you will survive the holidays intact, I promise.
I hope wherever you are and whatever you’re doing you’re enjoying the start of this festive, colorful and joy filled season.