Stay Fit During The Holidays: 5 Crucial Habits
Use these crucial tips to stay fit during the Holidays. Typically, the Christmas season means extra indulgences (like my favorite sugar cookies!), lots of parties, and generally a lack of focus on health and wellness. I don’t believe in the typical “survive” the season type of advice but I do have some habits for keeping your health and staying fit during the Holidays. These tips aren’t tricks or anything out of this world, instead, they’re basic habits that when made a priority, work.
Christmas has always been my favorite time of year (despite the cold haha). I truly just love the anticipation, the excitement, and yes the indulgences! But I have also long ago learned how to manage the Holidays so that I can embrace the best of both worlds: enjoyment and staying fit during the Holidays.
This time of year everyone is on one of two mindsets when it comes to fitness and 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” and stay fit during the Holidays
This is why I struggle to write blog posts like these because I disagree with both the mentalities listed above.
What’s Wrong With The “Survival Mode” Mindset
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 to each other.
Also, 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!
[clickToTweet tweet=”Christmas is not about survival. Enjoy it & stay true to yourself Eat some damn cookies have an extra drink. It’s ok.” quote=”Christmas is not about survival. Enjoy it & stay true to yourself Eat some damn cookies have an extra drink. It’s ok.”]
How To Stay Fit During The Holidays
If you want to stay fit during the Holiday’s you’re going to need to stay true to your goals, beliefs and lifestyle. There’s no quick-fix for this. However, there are five crucial healthy habits you can embrace to help you both stay fit and indulge.
Remember, your body thrives on consistency. On routine. The habits are not rocket science but they work.
- Keep up your workouts but make them quick
- Hydrate like crazy
- Stick to your normal eating schedule
- Workout because you can and not because you have to
- Mae your own food
How To Stay Fit During The Holidays – 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. Instead of your usual session you may find yourself having to:
- opt for shorter workouts (just make them intense, it’s fine!)
- change your workout time
- be able to work out somewhere new
If you need help, I offer FREE weekly workouts delivered right to your inbox.. and they’re all under thirty minutes!
Don’t make excuses about not having time to work out during the Christmas season. You’re only making them to yourself. You don’t need to hit a gym (why moms should always work out at home). Learn to adjust your training and still get your workouts in.
It’s easy to let your workouts slide during the Holidays- but it’s not beneficial. Keep your workout schedule, enjoy them, and know you’re doing something awesome for your body.
Fit Hack: The secret to staying fit during the Holidays (and any time of the year) is to stop dreading and despising your workouts. Find workouts that suit your goals, your lifestyle, and that you somewhat enjoy.
Hydrate Like Crazy
Your body is primarily water. It thrives off of water. Water lets your body do its job… and it also helps your body metabolize shit food and booze.
So drink up.
Give your body the tools it needs to process the extra indulgence over the season.
Here are some tips to drinking more water but the truth is, it just needs to be a focus. Trust me, water is going to help:
- Reduce your bloating
- Keep you from being mega hungover
- Your body to digest
- Keep energy stable
Aim for 2.5L at least per day to help you stay healthy during the Holidays.
Fitness Hack: I have a rule on days when I know I’ll be drinking more than normal that every alcoholic drink must be followed up with a glass of water. Do I pee like crazy? Yes. Can I get up in the morning without wanting to die? Also yes.
Don’t underestimate the basics when it comes to how to stay fit during the Holidays.
How To Stay Fit During The Holidays- Stick To Your Normal Eating Schedule
Just because it’s Christmas time doesn’t mean you need to have spiked eggnog 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.
If you’re looking to control calories, you can definitely implement some Intermittent Fasting protocols. However, only do this if you’re familiar with it. Christmas isn’t a good time to start a new habit or weight loss technique and you’ll just end up in a restriction cycle.
For myself personally, if I’m going to a huge dinner or party I’ll focus more on proteins and healthy fats during the day as I know I’ll have more carb-based meals that night.
And remember, just because it’s there doesn’t mean you need to eat it. Stay true to yourself (if you’re dairy-free, still avoid dairy!).
However, eat food. Indulge. Our society is based around a table and enjoying food. Don’t deprive yourself of that. But be aware of your choices and show your body some love the other 15 hours of the day 😉
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.
This is actually my BIGGEST pet peeve of the season. You see a zillion “work off that turkey dinner” Christmas memes and workout cards. I despise them.
Exercise is not a punishment. Ever. Period.
You don’t need to “work off” whatever crap you ate.
Chose workouts you enjoy so that you stay consistent with them and know you’re doing your body good. Being fit and healthy isn’t a destination. It’s a feeling, a lifestyle, and a 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
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 @fitasamamabear #healthychristmas #fitness #healthandfitness Click To Tweet
Make Your Own Food To Stay Healthy During The Holidays
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.
I’m also dairy and gluten-free now- which is a huge pain in the ass during the Holiday season (everything yummy has dairy!!!). I do have some tips on cutting dairy but the truth is, it’s easier to just make my own food.
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.
The Holiday’s Are NOT About Survival
What’s wrong with the season is that people mention “surviving”. As if Christmas is something to dread. And I somewhat see that point.
If you have weight loss goals, the Holidays are just one temptation after another. But that statement is wrong. You shouldn’t dread Christmas or have to “survive”.
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 meant to sit at one exact scale number or composition the entire year. Fluctuation is normal. It’s okay to gain a little at 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.
Personally, I strive for routine over Christmas time (this is my regular workout split). I definitely eat more, drink more, and generally indulge more but I also stay consistent with the basics.
While Christmas seems like a six week period, you don’t need to indulge every single night. Pick your times and enjoy them.
The secret to stay fit during the Holidays is not to dread or survive. Enjoy the extra time with family, the silly movies, the brightness in the eyes of kids, and the magic of the season.
Don’t Forget To Pin These Tips to Stay Fit During The Holidays!
That’s it! Those are my tips 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 with 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 overthinking.