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The holidays are in full swing, how did that happen?! It can be the best time of year but it can also be an incredibly challenging and scary time of year. For the next month, you’ll be bombarded with holiday happy hours, holiday parties, holiday treats, holiday drinks and everything in between that will most likely have a negative effect on all the hard work you’ve been putting in the past few months. Here’s a few tips that have helped me out during this time of year and left me feeling not quite so guilty come January 2nd. Remember, we’re not all perfect but a little forward thinking can get you a long way!

  1. DON’T SKIP YOUR WORKOUTS! Winter workouts are some of the best, it may be tough to crawl out of bed when it’s a frigid 45 degrees here in Houston but hey our time without brutal humidity is limited so enjoy it while you can! The holidays are often a time of funky schedules, short weeks, etc so use that new schedule to try out a new class time or get to the gym earlier in the day. Also, exercise is a great way to deal with the stress of having family around, holiday blues, or just general everyday stressors. If you do one thing, make sure it’s to keep getting your workouts in. This will help you start the new year on the right track and get you leaps ahead of all those January exercise resolution people.
  2. KEEP IT LEAN AND GREEN #THINKPALEO One strategy that I try to use at Christmas and Holiday parties is to stay as lean and green as possible and continue to fill up on nutrient dense foods. Try and load your plate up with the main meat dish and fill the rest with the vegetables, salad, fruit that is available. If you eat these foods first first you’re more likely to avoid, or at least really limit, your intake of the processed and less nutrient dense foods- pies, sugary sweet potato dishes, cheese, crackers, and other desserts. This is for parties, on the big day- Christmas (or Christmas Eve)- let loose. You’ll enjoy it that much more and you won’t feel near as guilty or do as much harm to your waistline. I do try and get a hard workout in the morning before these big meals as well as the day after. Put those extra calories to work! Hosting family or friends? Here are some great healthy holiday dishes.
  3. SAY YES TO H2O! We all know how important drinking water is, I don’t have to tell you that. Holiday parties and meals can be difficult, it’s not exactly “normal” to walk into someone else’s house with your Nalgene you carry around everywhere, so when you arrive and they offer you a drink get a water first. If you are planning on drinking, make sure to have a glass or bottle of water after each drink before the next. Not only will this help you stay hydrated but it’s also going to cut down on tomorrow’s hangover- win, win!
  4. DON’T SAVE ROOM One of the biggest mistakes people make is to say “I’m going to be eating so much tonight, I’ll just skip eating today.” This ALWAYS leads to overeating and binging on the first thing you can get your hands on. Treat every day like a normal day, start with a healthy breakfast, drink plenty of water, and continue to snack on nutrient dense, healthy snacks like you normally would. The more you can adhere to your regular eating schedule/plan the easier it is to stay on track for the long run and not create any new, bad habits.
  5. IGNORE THE CRITICS Don’t let others bring you down. If you want to prioritize your health, you shouldn’t feel bad about it. Family and friends may not understand and may even make fun of you and no matter how many times you try to explain they may never get it. But look at this as a challenge to yourself to stay committed to your goals and priorities. You know how good you feel (and look!) and only you can decide how committed your going to be to that. On the flip side, give yourself a little bit of a break (if you need it)- ideally you work hard all year long, don’t let all your progress go out the window, but give yourself a little break while continuing to keep your goals in mind. Make this the best holiday season yet!


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