As the holidays approach, many people find themselves “just trying to get to the new year”. As we take some time off from work, spend time with family, and enjoy reflecting on the past year, we can still make our best effort to stay on-track with our goals. Here are a few tips:
-It’s pretty common for people to get away from their normal routine around the holidays. We wake up at different times, we eat at different times, and we do different activities. Focus on your healthy habits that are most important and continue them even when the routine is off. This might mean making sure we’re drinking water on a schedule or finding a different time to get your workout in if you’ve got other plans that are interfering.
-If you’re traveling, plan ahead. Do you need to pack snacks for that long drive? Do you need to find a gym or an at-home workout you can do while you’re out of town? Just taking the steps to do a little planning can help keep you on-track.
-Find an accountability partner. Staying focused on healthy habits are much easier with a friend or coach. You can plan to send pictures of your meals to each other or text workout updates. It doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Make it into a game that you and your partner will both enjoy and be thankful for.
-If you do workout, be careful not to justify extra eating for the workout. We like to reward ourselves with food, but often will overestimate how many calories we burned so we feel better about eating larger portions or less healthy food. You can use the Precision Nutrition Anytime Plate and Post-Workout Plate as guides for meal-planning.
-If you have a big holiday feast, try to avoid “banking” calories beforehand. Starving yourself before the holiday meal will only contribute to reduced willpower, poor decisions, and damaged metabolism. Eat portion-conscious meals at your normal meal times.
-If you’ll be having cocktails, try drinking a glass of water between each drink. Many cocktails, beers, and ciders are full of sugar and all alcoholic drinks are empty calories with no nutritious value. You can also plan to limit your number of drinks or choose drinks that are lower in calories and sugar.
-Many people enjoy baking during the holidays and it can be a time of indulging in lots of sweet treats. This activity is often a tradition and the time spent with family is what’s really important. Plan ahead for the treats you’ll be baking and make smaller batches if you usually have too many. Make a list of friends, family, and community members that would appreciate the baked goods. You can spend the time with family baking, but then give away some of the treats later.
-If you’re attending a potluck, make a dish you’ll be happy to eat and share with others.
-There’s no rule that says you can’t pack your own snacks. If you’re worried about temptation, pack some snacks that will help curb your cravings and align with your goals.
-If you’re concerned about overeating, use a smaller plate. It is likely you will fill the plate you have so choose a small one.
-Use a smaller utensil for serving. You’ll put less on your plate.
-Prioritize protein and healthy vegetables. Put these on your plate first and eat these first.
-Eat until you’re 80% full.
-Choose the foods that you love. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to eat it.
-Wait at least 20 minutes before deciding if you want 2nd helpings. Ask yourself, “On a scale of 1-5, how hungry am I?” If it’s a 4 or 5, go ahead, in moderation.
The holidays are a time to appreciate family and friends, and there are increased temptations. Revisit your goals frequently and remind yourself of what’s important to you.
If you’re ready to get a jump-start on the new year, I offer 1:1 nutrition and wellness coaching that is individualized and based around healthy habits and lifestyle changes. No one’s life is the same and the way people reach their goals will not be the same either. Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain weight, or improve your health, we can work together to create a plan that works for you.