Eating healthy and trying to avoid the wrong foods during the holidays shouldn’t stress you out.
Here are 5 tips to help you stay successful and on track this holiday season.
1. Schedule your meals and workouts.
You know the routine — getting stuck at the office late or visiting your carb-loving in-laws means you can easily get sidetracked with unhealthy food choices. The more you plan, the easier it will be to stick to your usual routine. Try meal prepping for the week to take the guesswork and temptation out of over indulging in those oh so tasty holiday foods. Working out in the mornings helps get your day started off on the right foot and sets the mood for the whole day ahead.
2. Give away the leftovers.
You practiced mindful eating during your family’s holiday dinner, but now it’s later at night when you’re just relaxing, and you realize that there are delicious leftovers in the fridge. You’re not really hungry but could snack on something. A few bites become a second (or even third) helping, where you’re mindlessly scarfing down on whatever is left. Don’t let temptations get the best of you…share the love of food!
3. Up your workout intensity.
Need to burn off some of the extra calories that somehow sneak your way? How about a surefire way to get a killer workout that keeps you lean and burns off holiday stress? High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an ideal way to lose weight and reduce your risk of disease. These workouts are intense BUT you can knock out an entire workout in about 15–20 minutes — less time than it takes to find a parking place at the mall during the holidays. HIIT provides the blueprint you need to build muscle, lose fat, and manage stress.
4. Bring your own healthy holiday dish.
If you’re attending a dinner party where you know that there won’t be a lot of healthy food choices, offer to bring along a healthy alternative of your own! Something as simple as a veggie tray, healthy snack, or sugar-free dessert will even do the trick. Your host will appreciate the effort and you’ll ensure at least one healthy holiday dish. Better yet, why not have people over to your place where you’re in charge of what is served.
5. Practice gratitude.
The holidays often trigger extra stress. Difficult in-laws, sad memories of loved ones no longer there, and fighting the crowds to find that perfect present. Try shifting your mindset to being more positive. “When we decide to focus on all that is good in our lives, happiness increases, blood pressure drops, and heart rate decreases,” writes John D. Kelly, MD. Consider keeping a gratitude journal to keep your mind at ease. Talk with people and genuinely thank them for what they’ve done. You’ll discover that even during the craziest of days, a little gratitude goes a long way for everyone.