So many individuals find the holiday season difficult to deal with when trying to stick to their fitness goals.
There are endless celebrations, from end of year work functions, to Christmas events and New Year’s Eve parties. For many of us, these celebrations revolve around alcohol, socialising and a whole lot of eating… Who can say no to a big Christmas Day feast or boozy New Year’s Eve on the town?
Once the holidays roll around it’s easy to see yourself slipping back to square one, after working hard to stay in shape all year round.
Staying on track during the festive season
I definitely find the holiday season to be the hardest time of the year to stay on track. There are countless functions, all revolving around alcohol and copious amounts of food. I love routine and hate being thrown out of it, so I like to plan ahead and schedule my more lenient food days to coincide with social activities.
That way, I stay in control, and don’t feel as if my hard work is going to waste. I like structure, so to help me stay on track, I try to take into consideration my workouts, meals, social calendar and long hours at work when planning out my week.
Don’t get me wrong, summer is a time to enjoy yourself and have a well earned break, but that doesn’t mean you have to let go of all of your hard work.
I always say that eating one salad won’t make you skinny and eating one burger won’t make you fat, but eating bad food over a period of time and developing bad habits will eventually chip away at your progress.
I think everyone has been guilty of over indulging a little during this period, so I thought I would share some tips that I use to help me stay on track over and stay accountable over the summer period.
My Top Tips
1. Exercise regularly
It’s important to stay active during the summer break as you will probably be consuming more calories than usual.
I do my best to schedule workouts on days that I am planning to eat a big meal! Last Christmas I managed to sneak in a morning functional session to prepare for a day of feasting. Whether it is a morning walk or gym workout, some exercise in the morning will help your body prepare for and burn off those extra calories.
2. Opt for healthy foods
Foods such as salads, vegetables and lean proteins are great. I find these filling and not to mention tasty. I also love to treat myself with naughty, but nice treats such as protein pancakes and protein balls.
3. Plan ahead
You never want to be left feeling completely hungry and over indulging in something bad.
I always plan the night before where I will be and what I will be doing. Whether it is at work or I am on the go, I will always make sure I have some form of food on me. If I am out for the day I always carry a protein shake and some light snacks with me.
4. Exercise early
That way you have the whole day ahead of you. During the holidays I find myself getting busier during the day. This is why I love to get my workouts done in the mornings so I have the rest of the day to relax. Plus it is a lot cooler in summer to workout in the morning, especially with the odd heat wave.
5. Stay hydrated
Particularly considering it’s summer. I love to carry my water bottle on me at all times. I also love sipping on BCAAs throughout the day as it keeps me hydrated and keeps my sweet temptations at bay.
6. Work harder in the gym
I always push myself harder and workout a little longer as I will definitely be eating more calories over the holidays and I may as well put them to good use.
7. Eat your calories
For me I would rather eat my calories than drink them. Alcohol contains a lot of sugar and a hell of a lot of calories. Plus it will probably leave you with a revolting hangover in the morning. Remember everything in moderation.
8. Enjoy the break
One or two days of over indulging won’t make or break your health goals.
9. Be cautious
Don’t let the your few days of indulgences lead to a month of ongoing bad habits.
10. Opt for low calorie alcoholic drinks
If I plan on drinking I always go for a vodka and soda, or my favourite a vodka, water and lime.
Some take away points
Remember the holidays are meant to be enjoyed. There is no point stressing over a few bad meals. ‘Tis the season to be jolly after all.
Have a positive mindset. Be smart and stay accountable.
Happy holidays and stay safe!