How To Stay Fit & Healthy Over Christmas
Christmas time means extra indulgences, lots of parties and generally a lack of focus on health and wellness until the New Year- or so I’m told 😉 I personally don’t enjoy giving generic “eat less cookies over the Christmas” or “Survive the Holidays” advice but I do have some tips, tricks and advice that may make you enjoy this season just a little bit more 😀
This time of year everyone is on one of two mindsets when it comes to health and Christmas:
The “ignore everything about real life until the New Year when I can work it off” group.
Or the “How do I survive?? How do I avoid weight gain and bloating” group.
Which is why I struggle to write blog posts like these because I disagree with both the mentalities listed above.
For starters, your body doesn’t work on the “I ate a chocolate bar but I run tomorrow so it balances out” idea. Not from a weight loss perspective and not from a health perspective.
Ever heard the saying “you cannot out train a bad diet”? Because it’s true. Your body appreciates and responds to quality and consistency. The way your body stores the chocolate bar will probably be much different than the way it burns the calories from the run. The two don’t always equate each other.
Second, I don’t believe that the Holiday’s should be about trying to survive. I truly believe that you should enjoy Christmas, family, friends and food while remaining true to yourself and without any guilt. Eat some damn cookies. Enjoy them. Have an extra drink. It’s ok.
Here’s me with my Christmas favorite… homemade perogies!
Christmas is not about survival. Enjoy it & stay true to yourself Eat some damn cookies have an extra drink. It's ok.Click To Tweet
When you’re always trying to “survive” you’re putting your body in a constant state of stress- not to mention the mental issues! Believe it or not, but your body wasn’t mean to sit at one exact scale number or composition the entire year. Fluctuation is normal. It’s okay to gain a little a Christmas time and lose a little in the following months. Minor fluctuations are expected.
Instead of the focus being on surviving I think the emphasis should be on staying healthy, energized and enjoying yourself (which is the same focus as my fourteen day restart!)
Personally, I strive for routine over Christmas time. I definitely eat more, drink more and generally indulge more but I also stay consistent with the basics. This keeps me fit, healthy and happy over The Holidays.
So instead of going on a five week binge or trying to survive your way through what should be a happy month, here are my tips.
Keep Up Your Workouts But Make Them Quick
Don’t just stop all activity for the month of December. Your body freaks out and it doesn’t do anyone any good. Not to mention that exercise has a host of other benefits outside of weight loss that will help you stay happy over the Holidays. So stick with your current volume.
However, as your social schedule fills up you may be more strapped for time than normal. Opt for faster workouts so you can still squeeze them in. Interval training, shorter rest times and at home circuits are all great options.
Workout Because You Can, Not Because You Have To
Don’t go for the punishing aspect of working out: “because I ate a box of cookies last night I need to workout double today. It’s not worth it mentally or physically.
Chose workouts you enjoy so that you stay consistent o them and know you’re doing your body good. Being fit and healthy isn’t a destination. It’s a feeling, a lifestyle and journey. A couple of bad meals won’t make you unhealthy but a few good ones won’t make you live longer. Love what you do- it makes a difference
Stick To Your Normal Eating Schedule
Just because it’s Christmas time doesn’t mean you need to have spiked egg nogg and cream cheese gingerbread cookies for breakfast every day. Once will do 😉
When it comes to dinner parties, eat while you’re hungry. Have the cookie, grab a glass of wine and enjoy it. Don’t stuff yourself for the sake of stuffing yourself but don’t restrict either. Just eat, enjoy and laugh.
I make a ton of food at Christmas time. Partially because I like it and partially because my stomach can’t handle four days in a row of heavy eating. Know your body and adapt accordingly.
In our family, we have four Christmas dinners back to back- it’s a lot of food! And while it’s definitely delicious, my energy slows down and my stomach cramps if I eat too much. So I make something to contribute and pay attention to what I’m putting on my plate.
You don’t need to restrict but do listen to your body.
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That’s it! Those are my tips, tricks and advice to staying fit and healthy over Christmas. The Holiday’s don’t need to be a battle between health and indulgence. Stay consistent to what you believe in, indulge when you want and most importantly, enjoy the people around you. Laugh lots and make good memories. Don’t ruin the season with over thinking.