Merry Fitmas! Yes FITMAS. What’s fitmas? It’s embracing healthy holidays and making time for you, your health and wellness over the crazy holiday season. So what does this mean? It means December at Workoutwithdi is all about Healthy Holidays. Now I’m not saying I don’t indulge, believe me I do (Thanksgiving Instgram pics anyone?), but I try to aim for balance. Over the holidays the stress rises, time for yourself becomes scarce and high fat/sugar foods are everywhere (and alcohol). What’s an elf to do? Well like a Winter Wonder Woman I’m here to help healthify the holidays with these 10 Healthy Holiday Tips.
- Indulge a little. Yes Seriously! It’s the freaking holidays, relax. Ask yourself, does this sound familiar: “Argh, I gained 10 pounds over the holidays!!!”. Um, unlikely. You’d have to be eating a HELL of a lot of food for that to happen, not to mention basically becoming a couch potato overnight. I could bore you with math but suffice to say you’d have to eat about EXTRA 300 slices of bread on top of your normal calorie intake to gain 10lbs over the holidays. I like bread as much as the next person, but dang I don’t think I could eat that much! On average, people only actually gain ONE POUND during the holidays, I guess we humans like to over exaggerate a little. So indulge in little of what you fancy because studies show that depriving yourself makes you rebound, and hard! You can still have all your trimmings but if you plate looks like the leaning tower of Pisa you’ve gone too far!
- Tame your tipple. While we talk about food let’s not forget the drink. Many a good holiday tale begins with “at the office party”, because of the drink. Don’t be that person. Not only is it embarrassing but potentially health threatening. While alcohol has been shown to have some health benefits more is definitely NOT better. Do you know what heavy alcohol use is defined as? For women it’s more than three drinks on any day or more than seven drinks a week for women. By this definition I think we’d be hard pressed to find anyone other than tea totallers having less at Thanksgiving. I also cannot stress enough to NEVER drink and drive. Just don’t.
- Don’t skip meals. Ever, but especially at the holidays. Planning on having a big dinner does not mean you get to skip breakfast. Instead go for a healthy breakfast, and lunch and you’ll eat a little less at dinner. Why? Because you’ll be full! Empty stomachs just mean you’ll eat more of the high fat high sugar foods, or worse alcohol (no nutrient value). It’s like you suddenly realize you ate nothing all day so it’s all ‘free’ food right? Nope, you tend to eat MORE when you’ve starved yourself all day. Some studies have shown that people who ate a small garden salad as an appetizer ate smaller entrees portions.
- Sleep. One of the most underrated parts of any health and fitness regime is sleep. Our brains need time to switch off, store memories, and just chill out. Plus our bodies need time to just reset. Did you know that chronic sleep deprivation can be a cause of obesity. Our busy holiday period means lots of driving, lots of community events, socializing and generally being up and out all day long, and often all night. Sleep can get sparse during this time of year. Ensure you get your 7-8 hours a night, and if you do come up short try to nap, or catch up at the weekend. Skip the sales, and recoup some Zzzs.
- Learn what a portion size REALLY looks like. Um, we’re guilty of this one BIG TIME! Have you ever looked at the back of that apple pie box to see the servings per pie? Because you think you’re only eating 250 calories right? But that’s per serving, and there are around 8 servings per pie and you only managed to get 4 servings. Guess what? You ate 500 calories of pie. Plus the ice cream which is per 1/2 cup (which is barely anything btw!). Learn what a serving looks like because I’d bet that you’re eating more calories than you think!
- Be active. Working been at a gym I can already tell you the workout year is winding down. It’s a notoriously slow time at the gym. I get it, we’re all busy. Family commitments, school stuff, shopping and preparations. If a workout isn’t going to fit into your busy schedule then find other ways of staying active. Walk, do chores, get to the park with the kids, shovel snow, dance. Don’t forget to sign up for my 25 time saving fitness tips ebook for more ideas on finding time for fitness.
- Keep the good habits you have. Let’s face it the holidays are NOT the time to try and cultivate healthy habits, instead it’s more of a survival of the fittest. Figure out what healthy habits you do have and strive to keep those going. If you stopped smoking this year, family gatherings can be tough, especially if others are going to be smoking. Same with drinking (Heck sometimes family gatherings are enough to drive a tea totaller to drink!). Be careful of the situations you are placing yourself in. This goes for anyone with eating disorders too.
- Step stressing. people get crazy stressed over the holidays. From dinner disasters, to gift gaffs plus the family gatherings, the tension is high. Do a Taylor Swift and just shake it off. Who cares. Nobody is going to remember what little Charlie got for his 4th birthday. I’m over 40 and I can remember only a handful of gifts I got as a child – teenager. Kids don’t remember that stuff. They remember people, they remember fun times singing songs, playing with each other, they don’t remember things. Likewise, nobody remembers what Uncle and Aunts bought each other, but they remember the drama, the ugly things said and the stress. Skip it, chill out, shake it off.
- Comparison is the thief of joy. I love this Theodore Roosevelt quote. Remember this is your holiday, doesn’t live someone else’s. Stop trying to keep up with the Jones’. Stop comparing your decorations with your neighbors. National Lampoon’s Christmas movie anybody? Stop making it a competition, that’s not what the holidays are about. True story: As a kid my parents and I would compete with who got the most holiday cards. I’m pretty sure they probably still do this. A friendly competition is fun, however a budget blasting laser display isn’t really getting into the giving spirit of the season.
- Plan for the New Year. Yep, make plans now for changes you want to make for the New Year ahead. That little bit of weight you put on over the holidays might be weighing heavy on your heart, plus the lack of exercise, so make plans now to make the most of the fresh start a New Year brings. I’ll be doing my part in that I have a bumper blog month planned for December and January and will be offering some fun freebies, and launching some new programs. So stay tuned for that. The holidays include New Years and honestly it’s one of my favorite times. Why? Because I <3 GOAL SETTING. I’ll be sharing more posts on goal setting, and
Don’t worry there is more healthy holiday stuff to come over the next few weeks. Including fun workouts, fitmas gift giving guides, vegan guest advice, stocking stuffers, and more. Healthify your holidays.
What do you do to stay healthy at the holidays?