A lot of us feel this way around the holidays. The extra carbs, desserts, snacks and social drinking of the Holiday season can usually put a few extra pounds on us all. Personally, I always used to dread the holidays and what it might bring, come the New Year. After struggling for many years and overeating during this season, I have found a few things that seem to work for me that I want to share with you!
First, healthy snacking throughout the day to prevent overeating. This topic is HUGE. I usually snack all throughout the day during the major Holidays. Then when its meal time, I still overeat because there are so many wonderful things to put on our plates. Well, here are some awesome tips to prevent this from happening to you. Snack HEALTHY. Usually, there are some healthy things lying around. Try to grab a snack that has a healthy fat, protein and a carbohydrate in it. For example, a piece of fruit (carb), some cashews or almonds (fat) and some sliced deli meat (or turkey if it happens to be lying around) for your protein. Having a balanced snack like this will prevent one macronutrient to overshadow the others. Because if you’re anything like me, I am all carbs ALL the time! When it comes to the big meal of the day, start off with a salad, and EAT SLOW. All that food will not be gone when/if you decide you need more. A good salad is a great way to start any meal, and when taking the time to enjoy it and slowly process it, you won’t be as hungry for the bad stuff. Now, I am not saying to not indulge, because you definitely should. Just remember to listen to your body. When you’re full, walk away. But remember to save room for a tiny sliver of pie, because that is a must.
Don’t Starve Yourself!
Also, keep in mind, it is not a good idea to starve yourself all day just to not feel guilty for eating a giant dinner, I am guilty of this. This just allows you to overeat at that meal and essentially doing more damage than would be done if you were to eat balanced snacks/meals throughout the day.
Get OFF that Booty and get in a Quick Workout!
Secondly, get off your behind! It is so easy for us to just plop down on the couch after a big meal and watch some football, being a huge football fan, I get that. However, simple things like staying standing instead of sitting to watch the game or taking small walks in between games or at halftime is a great way to stay moving.
Usually, during the holidays we don’t have as much time to get a good workout in. Getting up and moving and making time for a workout is very important during this season. It doesn’t have to be an hour-long workout if you don’t have the time. However, a good 20-minute cardio session or quick strength workout along with walks throughout the day, is better than nothing (and don’t forget your core!). Keep in mind, these workouts will also boost your energy and give you the extra “oomph” you need during the Holidays. Allowing yourself the time to work out is important for your overall wellbeing. Scheduling a workout with a friend or partner is a great way to ensure you don’t miss a workout. It is important to motivate each other and have someone to hold you accountable. If you’re someone who gets stressed around the holidays, exercise will only help you. Partake in a nice Yoga session or a nice long walk to allow your body and mind to calm down and relax before jumping into the full swing of things. Also remember, cleaning your house before people arrive can be used as a pretty intense workout if you allow it!
Finally, helpful phone apps! I am a huge fan of a few apps that I will share with you. First is MyFitnessPal. (https://www.myfitnesspal.com/)
A lot of people think it is just a calorie counter, but it is so much more! This app is by Under Armor and will help you reach your realistic goals. MyFitnessPal allows you to track your macronutrients (fat, protein, and carbohydrates) as well as tracking your steps (as long as you have your phone on you) and your calories and weight. You can add your workouts in for the day and your water intake. Tracking water intake is great, a lot of people don’t think to actually track how much water you’re drinking, and assume it is enough. Remember to drink by the “8×8” rule (8, 8-oz glasses a day) or half of your body weight in ounces (150lb person should drink approximately 75oz of water a day).
Another app that I love is MapMyRun, also by Under Armor. (http://www.mapmyrun.com/us/)
This app can sync with MyFitnessPal and transfer your workouts over. MapMyRun does not only track running, but also walking, hiking, trail-running, power walking, road cycling, sprints, cross country, stairs, pushups, sit-ups and crunches. You can adjust the settings and have the app tell you your current pace after each mile or just tell you your distance. I use this app when training for races, but also for long dog walks or hiking and it works great!
The third app I enjoy ESPECIALLY during a time crunch is Nike Training Camp. (http://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/nike-plus/training-app)
This app is awesome for a quick workout! There are many options on this app for beginners, intermediate workouts, and advanced ones. They range anywhere from 15 minutes to 60 minutes, and let me tell you, an intermediate 15-minute workout leaves me dripping sweat EVERY time. Honestly, this is probably one of the best workout apps I have come across when you don’t have time to go to the gym. You can choose your workout based on the time and equipment you have at your house and even improvise if you don’t have the equipment. I do recommend starting out as a “beginner” with a few of these workouts, they can be pretty tough. There are also some workouts that might have exercises you’ve never seen before in this case the app allows you to click on a short video of someone demonstrating the workout to ensure you do it correctly.
The Holidays are supposed to be a joyous and wonderful time in everyone’s life. These tips and suggestions are to help you get back to enjoying them. Take the time needed for yourself to ensure you get the proper TLC that only you deserve! Embrace the holidays and time with loved ones and hopefully, this blog will help you with the stress and concerns of staying healthy during this season!