It’s time to stop fearing the yummy foods + lack of exercise we experience during the holidays. You don’t need to obsess over what foods to avoid + feel constant guilt after you indulge with your closest friends + family.
The holidays are supposed to be a time where you enjoy comfort foods. You tend to relax a bit more than usual + share happiness with your loved ones.
Except… you are usually filled with guilt and shame about what you ate + lack of exercise. That is exactly the opposite of what the holiday season is all about!
FunFact: you can stay on track with your health journey AND be a real person who has some wine, eats the cookies, and ditches the gym for a long weekend or two.
Indulging + working out less during the holidays is completely doable. It WILL NOT set you back weeks when it comes to your health journey.
How? It all comes down to balance, planning, + preparation—without obsessing!
Today, I am going to share with you ways you can indulge this season + still stay on track with your health.
Keep reading to get some quick tips that can help you feel more happiness, less guilt, + more relaxed during these next few months.
How to Plan + Prepare So You Can Enjoy Yourself During the Holidays
Adopt a Balanced Overall Mindset
I believe that people who are successful at maintaining a healthy lifestyle all have a mindset of balance. Major restrictions will almost always stress you out on your journey. You’ll just end up with you feeling like you failed yourself.
Don’t go into this holiday season vowing to only eat the veggie platter, some turkey, a dry salad, + a side of water.
Let’s be real. When you enter a holiday this way, you either end up:
- being the cranky scrooge at the party that nobody wants to be around or
- give up + seriously overeat to the point of a bad stomach ache (followed by guilt).
If you try to live your healthy lifestyle normally according to the 80/20 rule, maybe adjust it to 70/30 or even 60/40 for a few weeks. You can + WILL be able to get back to where you were, while maintaining your sanity.
Visually Plan Out Your Holiday “Off Days” + “On Days”
When you write out anything, it makes it tangible + you are more likely to follow through. So, it helps if you take your calendar out. Figure out the days you have parties or get-togethers to attend during the holiday season.
Mark these days as your “off days.” On these days, you will most likely workout less and stray a bit off of your diet. But, I do recommend you draw the line between indulging + obsessively over-eating/drinking (you will just feel like garbage!).
All other days will be considered your “on days.” On these days, you will do your best to stay on track with your health journey when it comes to your meals + exercise routine.
There will be random events + situations that come up on your “on days” where you will stray from your healthy habits a bit. Live your life. Don’t drive yourself nuts!
Download your FREE 2019 ON/OFF calendar HERE.
Plan, Focus, + Prep More On Days Leading Up to “Off Days”
Ok, so you are going to see your relatives for a long 4 day weekend for Christmas. You have marked these as your “off days” + plan to indulge while you are away.
A great way to prepare yourself is to practice:
- meal planning
- focused grocery shopping
- + meal prepping for at least 7 days in a row prior.
(Adjust the amount of days according to how many “off days” you have in a row.)
On these days, you will focus on controlling your portions. Drink lots of water, make healthy food choices, + any other habits that make you feel good! Read my article about how to meal plan + focus grocery shop here.
This helps because you will feel great right before your “off days.” After, you might have eaten a bit too much sugar + drank more wine than usual. But, you won’t feel like you fell too far off the wagon!
It’s about shedding weight + saving calories NOW so you can let a little loose LATER.
Food Swap During Your “On Days”
Even if a day is considered your “on day” + you are doing your best to stick to your healthy habits. Allow yourself to be in the holiday spirit!
Meaning, if you want cookies, french toast, deviled eggs, sweet potato casserole, or pie, don’t restrict yourself. In general, you should always practice food swapping during your everyday diet. But, especially around the holidays when we crave so much of these things!
To do this, just swap out a few of the “unhealthy” ingredients for “healthier” options.
- For french toast, use ezekiel bread instead of challah bread.
- For deviled eggs, use greek yogurt instead of mayo.
- For pie, save calories by making a crustless one.
You will enjoy the foods you crave, while also still fitting into your jeans + will have way less guilt!
Intensity Shifting Before, During, + After
Let’s just be honest with ourselves. We know that we might not stick to our normal exercise routine in November + December. We have so many parties, it gets chillier out + we relax more, + maybe cut our workouts a bit shorter than usual.
Practice adjusting the intensities of your workouts that surround the holiday season.
For example: If you normally workout 4 days a week + 45 min each session…
Before + After the holiday season (2-3 weeks):
Increase the intensity of your workouts + workout 5-6 days a week. Either add 15 minutes to your normal workout or choose more intense/challenging exercises within your normal workout timeframe (i.e. heavier weights, more resistance, faster pacing).
During the holiday season (4-6 weeks):
Lower the intensity of your workouts. You maybe still workout 4 days a week or maybe even just 3. Possibly drop your workouts to 30 minutes or maintain your normal 45 minutes with less challenging weights/resistance/pace. Also, you might opt for non-traditional workouts (i.e. long walks, deep cleaning your house, or shoveling snow!)
- Related: HOW TO MOTIVATE YOURSELF TO WORKOUT
Allow Yourself to Truly Be OFF On Your “Off Days”
I think this tip is so important. Especially during a time where many of us find it hard to live in the moment.
When it is one of your “off days,” give yourself the freedom to workout out less than usual + indulge in yummy treats. The worst thing you can do is spend that day shaming yourself + not being joyful + happy—which is the point!
Don’t count calories, go crazy about healthy choices, or force yourself to do a crazy 2 hour workout before your family gathering.
Relax. Enjoy. Laugh.
Download your FREE 2019 ON/OFF calendar HERE + start planning!