It’s that time of year again! Just when you’ve finally burned off the last bits of last year’s cookie “incident”, you’re right back at the buffet, replete with family and travel stress making you lean into those PSLs like they’re your only sweet relief. Fitness goals aren’t even an afterthought—they’re a neverthought right now—a dread only adding to your holiday stress.
Welcome to adulthood—you know, that tender age of finding the sweet spot between relishing in being able to do whatever the hell you want and figuring out how to make it all go away, quietly.
When it comes to keeping fitness goals, this time of year is no doubt challenging. You may be crunching in extra time at the office so you don’t have to sweat over work stuff while you’re trying not to eat another plateful of food, or dealing with a full-on travel schedule. Or worse, you could be stuck in the kitchen cooking for everyone and the in-laws this year. Any of these situations can keep you from making a trip to the gym. And well, you know the drill. It might be June or later before you’re feeling back to your normal self.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
In fact, with just a few simple tricks, you can rebound back to your healthy schedule in no time, with little damage.
- Eat high protein to start your day: It’s going to give you the full tummy feeling longer and you won’t crave the sugars too much later in the day.
- Use smaller plates: It sounds hokey, but it can work. Larger plates make us fill them up. A smaller plate will make you less likely to overdo it.
- Walk: So you may not be able to make it to the gym while you’re at Nana’s house. But you can get outside—for a run or even a walk to the market for another sweet potato. Any bit of activity will keep you feeling stronger and less fixated on the smell of cinnamon in the air.
- Sneak in a HIIT workout: High Intensity Interval Training can be extremely effective in helping you feel like you got a legit workout session. Pull up some YouTube channels first thing in the morning and spend 20 minutes working out before you do anything else.
- Stay hydrated: It’s a lot harder to down a pile of mashed potatoes with two glasses of water in your belly. Hydrate well just before each meal and you’re likely to consume less.
- Go green: Load up on the salads, roasted Brussels sprouts or broccoli and light on everything else. Not only are they lower in calories, but these green veggies also contain healthy vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein, too!
- Reward yourself! One of the biggest culprits to the backslide is feeling too restricted in the first place. If you let yourself have one slice of pie or a few cookies, you satiate your craving without bingeing. Give in a little and treat it like the reward it really is.
Image: Stacey Spensley