Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to be sharing tips and tricks to make this your healthiest AND happiest holiday season ever so we can start 2015 feeling confident and strong!
Buckle up, gorgeous. Consider this your roadmap to balanced living.
Alright, it's officially COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS! I woke up at 3 am this morning and couldn't get back to sleep because all of a sudden my brain realized that we're leaving in three days on our annual holiday road trip to visit our families for the holidays! So much to do! So much holiday spirit and Christmas cheer to absorb! This is my favorite time of year, but it always catches me off guard.
When you're trying to make healthy choices and maybe reach some fitness or weight loss goals, December throws more roadblocks and obstacles in the way than any other time of the year. Everywhere you look there are delicious treats in the office, peppermint mocha lattes on every corner, and a party every other night. But don't give up! I want to help you navigate the way through the season so you can maintain a happy and healthy balance and arrive at January 2nd (because let's be real...January 1st is for mimosas, bloody marys, and my epic monkey bread) feeling EXCITED for what's in store instead of hating yourself for overindulging yet again.
I personally believe that it's entirely possible to make progress on your fitness and weight loss goals while still enjoying the holiday season to the fullest. You just have to focus on balance and priorities, and be a little more intentional and strategic with your decisions. There's a fine line between having fun, and having a leeeeeettle too much fun, yeah?
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE social events, party food, wine and fun holiday beverages, and most of all celebrating the culmination of another crazy year with the people I love the most, but there's no need to feel deprived when you're trying to make healthy choices. I promise!
Trust me, I'm right there in the passenger seat with you!
Here are 6 tips to maintain balance during the holiday party circuit -- AND enjoy every minute -- without derailing your goals!
1. Be objective, realistic, and intentional with your social calendar and goals.
How many social obligations, trips, and family visits do you have? Block them out on the calendar so you're prepared.
You probably aren't going to lose five pounds this month. But how about feeling good instead of 'gross' come January? Or maintaining your weight instead of gaining? Small victories people! January is waiting for us. Make goals based on ACTIONS that you can control, like staying active and working out every single day, or eating only clean whole foods until 6 pm. Schedule in your "treat nights" so you can enjoy them guilt-free.
Prioritize your parties! Choose the ones that you're looking forward to the most, and make a decision in advance to enjoy yourself to the max. Then reign it in a little at the parties that aren't worth it.
Family Christmas weekend with your siblings you never get to see?
Your husband's work party at a bar called She-nanigans?
Club soda and lime with an early bedtime it is!
It's all about the plan.
2. When you're at a party with a buffet, stay away from the food table!
The purpose of a party is to enjoy the PEOPLE, not the mini meatballs.
3. Alternate alcoholic drinks with a glass of water.
Better yet: soda water! You'll drink it slower and the bubbles will fill your tummy.
4. Set yourself up for success!
If you're heading to a potluck, bring a healthy option!
Don't give yourself ultimatums like "I'm not oging to touch the cheese" if you really really really love cheese. Put a couple pieces on a plate, and then walk away from the cheese.
If you're tracking your weight, give yourself a buffer of a few days after a party for your system to normalize. Better yet: weigh yourself on Friday BEFORE you head into a festive weekend, after you've been eating healthy for the whole week!
5. Strive for balance, not perfection.
When you have control over your schedule and meals, choose the healthy option. When you're at Grandma's and she's dishing up her famous lasagna and cake, for gosh sake enjoy every bite!
Stay consistent with your workouts and nutrition the majority of the time during the week, and you'll have a little wiggle room to play with.
Plus, it's been shown that people who indulge a little on the weekends actually end up
losing more weight over time! It's science, it's official ;)
6. Surround yourself with a support system.
You're not going to be able to stick to your plan if no one in your life understands your motivation. Don't make your personal choices into a dinner table defense trial! Enlist a friend to be your success partner and check in with each other when you need a boost of support.
Or find a few friends and set up a secret accountability group on Facebook! When there's someone out there holding you accountable, it's so much easier to stay on track.
And if you do over-indulge?
Don't give up. Just bounce back and keep moving forward.
We've got this!