By: Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN
Just because the holidays are around the corner doesn’t mean all hope is lost for your health and fitness goals. Don’t throw in the towel! We’ve come up with some amazingly easy-to-follow healthy tips for the holidays so that you can enjoy the season with family and friends while still keeping your eye on the prize.
Let’s dive into some simple strategies and healthy tips for the holidays!
1. Get Your Workout in Early
One of the best healthy tips for the holidays by far is getting your workout in early. Many gyms across the nation close early on holidays. If you want to stay on track with your progress and goals, you can’t use the excuse that you got caught up in the holidays or let the day get away from you.
Anything that is a priority of yours needs to get done. Your workout is no excuse (that means both resistance training and cardio). And far too many people think they’ll head to the gym later in the day but get caught up in holiday parties and gatherings, and before they know it, it’s too late.
Wake up, get in your workout, and then enjoy the rest of your day and getting together with friends and family.
2. Minimize Liquid Calories
Liquid calories can easily sneak up on you without warning (especially alcoholic beverages and mixers), which is why this made our list of healthy tips for the holidays.
When everyone has a drink in their hand, it’s easy to get tempted into another, and another, and another. Before you know it, you’ve had over 1,000 calories from liquids alone (alcohol, soda, tea, seasonal beverages, etc...)
Don’t wake up the next morning and scream at the sight of the number on the scale. Let everyone else do that—but not you this year! This leads us nicely into the third of our healthy tips for the holidays...
3. Water is Your Friend
It should come as no surprise, but water is incredibly important this time of year. Consuming water not only keeps you properly hydrated, but it is on our list of healthy tips for the holidays, thanks to its ability to keep you feeling full throughout the day and help prevent you from overeating.
Water is calorie-free, and you can drink as much of it as you want. Put this in your bag of tricks and healthy tips since you can trick your brain into thinking you’re full by drinking a glass of water before a meal. In doing so, it can prevent you from going overboard and putting yourself in a caloric surplus.
4. Pick and Choose Your Battles
With so many temptations in front of you, it’s challenging to say “no” to all the delicious foods. However, if you want to stay on track this holiday season, this is another one of the healthy tips you need to follow.
If you want that piece of cake, pie, or dessert, don’t go overboard with seconds and thirds of a meal. Make sure you have one plate, fill it with quality protein and healthy carbs, and save some room (calories) for the goodies later. Or, if desserts aren’t your thing or you want to stay away from them, go ahead and splurge a little during the meal without going crazy.