These four concerns are threatening to derail your fitness progress this holiday season. Here’s how to identify them and do your darnedest to avoid them.
Wow, girl! This year you did it! You made the commitment last January, sailed through the Spring and Summer, and kept your eye on the prize (a healthier, fitter bod) all Fall.
You were the gal who hit the salad bar on her Winter vaycay to Jamaica. You brought a healthy fruit dessert to Easter dinner. You became known as the Salad lady at your summer BBQs and stuck to your workout routine through your August long weekend. Heck, you even managed to steer clear of the kiddo’s Halloween candy this year!
Ok so now comes the tricky part — the festive, holiday season. And from first hand experience, nothing can wipe out a year’s worth of progress like Office Christmas parties, family commitments and your BFF’s Annual Holiday Wine and Cheese cocktail party.
I remember way back when I worked at the VON (I was the on-call gal who scheduled all the free-lance nurses and often worked the midnight shift–hey the money was good!). Because I worked all hours of the day, there were multiple Christmas parties. And yes, I attended all of them! I think I slept through most of December due to all the extra bad carbs I ingested lol 😉
To help you avoid falling into the traps of indulging at every event you attend this year, here’s an alert to the four biggest holiday fitness destroyers and some tips to help you stay on track, without feeling deprived.
The Office Christmas Cookie Exchange
Everyone knows how much Angi from Accounting loves to bake. She is always the first to bring in muffins, cakes and other sweet, baked goodies that she is “testing out”. And let’s face it, nothing is gonna derail your hard-earned muscle definition faster than her dark chocolate-almond bark during your 3 pm coffee break.
The Quick Fix: The best way to avoid Angi’s goodies is with something I like to call the “long-distance defense”. Most office treats get set up in the office kitchen, conference room or right at the baker’s desk. The key is to do everything you can to avoid going near these hot zones. This way, you’ll be less likely to indulge.
Yes it may require you to map out a new route to the washroom, but nobody said that getting through this season without packing on the pounds was going to be easy. Possible, absolutely. Easy, not always.
2. The Poor Meal Planning Strategy
If you are anything like me, you’ve been waiting since Thanksgiving for your mom’s famous turkey stuffing (I swear, nobody can make stuffing as good as my mom!). And while your fam sits down to the dinner table to say grace all you can think about is getting to the bowl of stuffing first. In fact, you choose your seat according the the stuffing location on the dinner table. Ok, maybe that’s just me. 😉
It’s no secret that holiday meals are calorie land mines. What you may not be sure about is how to go about holding back from that second piece of spiced cherry pie. Here are a few strategies for you.
The Quick Fix: First, before heading over to grandma’s house for your 3rd holiday dinner, eat! Yes, eat before you eat! The key is to eat something healthy, and not too filling as you don’t want to insult poor granny. Think munchies like a huge green apple and unsweetened nut butter, or hummus and crudities.
Second, fill your dinner plate with protein and veggies first (turkey or ham and brussel sprouts and lemon green beans), then your carbs (mashed potatoes and stuffing). The protein and veggies are ab-friendly options that will fill you up and are less likely to lead to second helpings.
The key is to enjoy and indulge, but just a little. Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean it’s time to let food rule you. You are the one in control, so quit trying to “strengthen your willpower” (there is no such thing) and make healthier choices. In the long run, you won’t be “dieting” off the extra 10 lbs you gained the last week of December just because you couldn’t say “no” to food. You have a choice. Set yourself up for success.
3. Give Booze a Break
Whether you are just trying to survive the hustle and bustle of the season or get through another drama-filled family event, trying to shake off the stress by downing a few more than usual chardonnays are instant calorie bombs.
Alcohol has more calories per gram that proteins and even carbs! Plus, alcohol is a “priority nutrient”. This means that the body processes alcohol as energy first, before anything else. So before your good ol God pod burns any fat, it has to burn through the alcohol calories first. Not good if you are on your 3rd mug-full of Egg Nog…and it’s only 4 pm.
The Quick Fix: The tried-and-true trick of having one glass of water for every cocktail you have works. This not only cuts down on the amount of booze your slurp back, it also keeps you hydrated, and improves the quality of your sleep. This is perfect if you don’t want a hangover for tomorrow’s leg workout.
4. The New Year’s Resolution
Maybe you’ve let your gym membership slide this month and you’re thinking of waiting to renew in the New Year when the deals are a dime a dozen at every gym. Or, if you are an at-home workout gal (like me!), you’ve let your fitness schedule take a back seat — hey, you’ve worked hard this year, what’s the big deal of taking one little month off??
The prob with this kind of thinking? While you are waiting for the perfect time to keep (or make) your fitness a priority, your waistline is growing and that little black dress that’s 2 sizes smaller than your normal size is a little, ahem, tight. Plus, you are getting further and further away from your Year End goal, which means it will take you until April to get back to where you were in November.
The Quick Fix: The answer, sweets, is super simple…quit procrastinating. Don’t wait any longer. Find a nutrition plan (check out my free Get Lean Eating Plan to get back on track toot suite).
Look for a workout program you can do in the comfort of your own home that gets you excited and start today. No Excuses, right? This one will have the whole family dancing to a healthy holiday season.
Now you will have a huge head start going into the New Year, instead of playing catch up with the rest of the crowd. Plus, you’ll be setting an example to your kiddos and family and friends as the fit gal who doesn’t live by diets anymore. Instead, this is your new lifestyle.
Leading by example will help you reach your year-end goals, and lift your spirits. In today’s gloomy world, and espesh with all the Scrooges out there this time of year, you’ll stand out as the gal who stuck to her guns, and made her goals happen.
Are you ready to get a head start on your New Year fitness goals? Make sure to take advantage of my December special where you will get 2 weeks of online coaching with me for FREE when you sign up for my 1:1 coaching.