by Tiffanie Grady-Gillespie, CPT/Certified Wellness Coach & Owner WickedFiTT
The holidays are here. Maybe you are a little nervous about sticking to a certain diet, fitness plan or other seemingly impossible feat this season? Believe me, I know how you’re feeling right about now.
There are new holiday drinks at Dunkin Donuts. There are lists that now need crossing off. There are things to do. There are people to see. Just thinking about everything we have to do can get a little overwhelming. Holiday weight gain is extremely common in the United States.
The National Institutes of Health conducted a study demonstrating that Americans gain considerable weight between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, and have a difficult time losing this weight over the course of a year. Excess weight from the holiday season can accumulate over time, leading to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. So, in an effort to get us all through the holidays in good health, here is a quick guide to surviving this time year while maintaining your healthy routines.
Drink lots of water
I know, you hear it all the time – but your body works a lot better when it has the right amount of nutrients fueling it, and water is the No. 1 most important nutrient. Dehydration can make you lethargic, confused, sluggish, and can even cause fainting! (Nothing we want happening to us during this busy time of year – especially in heels). So be smart, and drink up! Consider bringing a water bottle with you while you are out shopping or attending holiday events.
Indulge, but keep proper portions in mind
Of course, you’re going to drink peppermint mochas, eat velvety fudge and try that new, amazing cupcake – what are the holidays without some sugary happiness? But the trick is to do it all in moderation by setting limits for yourself and knowing (and sticking to) those limits. Trust me, I’ve been in one too many sweetened comas to know that this year, it’s all about balance. So, say it with me, “I will remember portion control.”
Take time for yourself
Again, I know so simple to say, but I mean it. Just take a little time for yourself during the holidays! We can get pretty caught up in all the lists, duties and responsibilities that being a host or guest can have. So, take some time – whether it’s five minutes or an entire day – for yourself to reboot and to do something that brings you peace and joy.
Create a routine (and stick to it)
Create a routine for yourself before you need it. This will make it a lot easier to stick to if something unexpected comes along, such as a giant cookie! Creating little healthy habits are a good way to also keep yourself mindful and intentional – great things to be in these busy times. Plus, it’s a great reason to tell your bestie that, no, you cannot pick up another package from the post office – you have a yoga class to get to.
Keep up on fitness
The holidays are a busy season, and many of us will have a little spare time. Whether you are traveling or staying home this year, try to stick with your regular exercise routine. If you don’t have one, use this season as a springboard to form the habit. Get the family involved in the process, and try walking or other activities that everyone can be included in. It is helpful to begin establishing a routine as you move into the new year and make your healthy resolutions for 2018.
Again, this is one of those “sounds so simple, but is actually hard” things on this list. Because when your perfectly baked pumpkin pie falls face-down on the floor (for those of you who cook), or when your Amazon Prime package gets delayed for a third time, it’s hard to remember to laugh.
Final holiday survival tip:
Cut yourself some slack this holiday and gift yourself permission to relax, enjoy some treats and understand it isn’t going to derail all of your positive efforts.