How to Stay on Track During the Holidays

6 steps to staying on track with health and fitness during the holidays

Is it just me or are the months of October until the start of January very hectic? My birthday is today, then there’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. With all these special occasions also comes all the sweets, carbs, and fat. With those three come the weight gain, guilty feeling, and an upset, bloated stomach. That definitely doesn’t sound as delectable as that big bowl of ice cream and Complete Cookie I had this weekend.

So it comes every year, but how do we manage it so that we don’t end up looking like a bear in hibernation?

Here are some helpful ways to stay on track with all the upcoming holidays and special occasions.

Fill up your plate with healthier items first

Try to look for the more colorful dishes to scoop onto your plate before all the carb and fat filled items. Doing this will help you avoid filling your plate with too much of the bad stuff. Most of the time our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. We think we can eat all this food and then we overeat to the point of feeling painfully full.

Don’t spend hours around the food

I know that some family gatherings mean sitting at the table reminiscing about old memories for hours upon hours. Unfortunately that can lead to consistent and unnecessary eating. You may even get to the point that you don’t even realize that you are mindlessly eating. So move those great conversations to another room…away from the food!

Eat smaller portions of sweet treats

If you’re anything like me, you want to try one of each dessert offered on the table. I mean, they all look so good so how do you even begin to choose?! Now I am not going to tell you to only pick one, but I am going to tell you to limit the size of your pickings. So if you want to try a lot of sweet treats, don’t have a full serving. See if you can split a slice of pumpkin pie with a family member. Go for half a cookie instead of the whole thing! You just have to compromise a bit! Then you can have your cake and eat it too!

Avoid unhealthy drinks

I personally would much rather spend my daily intake of calories on food than on a drink. At least food provides some sort of substance and can be filling. For example, alcoholic drinks, sodas, and juices can be loaded with carbs and sugar. Plus, as we all know too much alcohol just isn’t good for your body (or mind) in general. Stick to water or cut back on the amount you consume of the less healthy options.

Don’t wait until the New Year to work on fitness and health goals

We all know how it goes… “I’ll eat right and workout once the New Year begins.” I’m sure losing weight or being healthy are the top New Year resolutions. These are also probably only followed through for the first month of the year. So why wait until what you think is the opportune moment to become healthy? Why not now? If you can start with your fitness and health goals through the holidays, then it should be a habit by the time the New Year rolls around! Write down your goals and be specific. How often do you want to workout? Are you going to work on tracking macros? (By the way, my sister has a great and detailed post about macro tracking!) Whatever it is, work on the steps to stick to that goal, you’ll feel great making that type of accomplishment!

Avoid the break room

I’ve realized that one of the (many) benefits to being a vegan is that I now can’t have most of the junk food that is offered to me at work. In years past, if there was free cake, donuts, muffins, cookies, etc. then I wouldn’t pass up on the opportunity to indulge. Now that I am vegan, I can avoid all the bad, unhealthy items instead of caving. So be careful in the break room around the holidays. People are always baking or bringing goodies in and just because it’s there, you don’t have to eat it!

See, eating healthy and staying on track doesn’t have to mean eliminating delicious meals and good times from your holiday season. Just keep these 6 tips in mind and you’ll be good to go!

Happy (Healthy) Holidays!