December– I could hardly believe it when I looked at the calendar yesterday. What?!? Where did 2016 go?
If you are like me, it’s your favorite time of year. I thrive off of the energy of the season and find calmness in the calamity of it all.
The hustle and bustle of the holidays, the lights, the traditions and the celebrations with family members, friends and co-workers ~ a magical time of year some describe it.
But it’s also a stressful time of year (read here for some tips to deal) and a time when people feel like they get off track with their eating and fitness habits. For those who are in their first year of change, this is a particularly hard time.
As a fitness professional and wellness consultant I field a lot of questions this time of year about my habits and how I stay on track during the holidays.
“It’s always something this time of year.” I’ve heard more than one person say. Potlucks, happy hours, parents who just don’t understand (apparently Will Smith really did know what he was talking about).
There are a lot of tips out there on how to stay on track and how to stay healthy. Use a smaller plate, don’t go back for 2nds, don’t socialize by the food, bring a healthy option to the office potluck. Some I use, some I don’t. Here’s my advice for the last 2 months of the year. Hope they help!
1. Eat dessert. A sliver of apple pie, just the inside of the pumpkin pie (that’s the best part anyways!), peach cobbler. But choose one per pot luck or dinner and skip dessert entirely if out to eat. It’s never as good as homemade anyways.
2. Plan around celebrations. Celebrations can certainly derail you – if you allow them to! Instead choose a salad at a restaurant or fill your plate with veggies or a fruit salad first (someone always brings one, you know it!) and take you plate far away from the buffet table. Also, always having a drink to sip on (whether water or wine) keeps one hand busy at all times and makes it super hard to balance a plate and eat! A balanced but light breakfast (2 poached eggs with a piece of whole grain toast and fruit) will give you the nourishment you need and keep you from overeating later.
3. Say “yes” to you. When things get hectic the first thing we tend to give up is our time. I am still working on this but it’s something I recently came to recognize. Instead of our lunchtime workout we run errands, instead of our usual Thursday evening sweat session we go shopping. Let’s stop giving up our “me” time and starting finding other times to shop…see next suggestion.
4. Go shopping instead of out to dinner. Do you and your best friend have plans to get together and catch up over lunch on Saturday? How about meeting up to do your holiday shopping instead? Or meeting for coffee or tea? It’s easier on the wallet and on your health!
5. Try to do something active every day. This doesn’t mean going to the gym or doing planned exercise. This is moving your garbage can across the office so you have to get up to use it, really using that “park farther away” suggestion people always throw out or putting up your own holiday decorations this year instead of hiring someone to. Moving just has to stay at the top of your mind – however moving works for you.