Written By: Laurine Kulczycky
The holidays are meant to be enjoyed; however, this doesn’t mean that you have to put a pause on your health fitness goals. Balance is something you need to have in all aspects of your life. It is important that you exercise and eat healthy; however, it is also important that you enjoy life.
With the holiday season there are going to be more dinner parties; you are going to be surrounded by food that you normally wouldn’t eat and you may even have a couple more alcoholic beverages that you normally wouldn’t drink. Instead of telling you to avoid these fun gatherings, I’m going to help you enjoy them guilt free! Here are 5 tips to help you stay on track during the holiday festivities:
Tip #1 – Don’t Skip Your Workouts
The holidays are a busy time for everyone, however, you still have priorities and goals you want to maintain. A good way to make sure you stay on track is to plan ahead. Further, take a look at your schedule and pre-book your workouts. Treat these workouts like appointments that you can’t cancel. Impromptu dinner parties rarely happen so you know the exact date and time well in advance. Since time can become a real issue, instead of skipping your workout all together you can choose to swap out your traditional strength workouts for shorter, more intense, bodyweight and HIIT style workouts. You want all those extra calories to go towards building muscle and not gaining fat.
Tip #2 – Don’t Go To The Party On An Empty Stomach!
Ever heard of the saying “don’t go grocery shopping hungry?”; the same goes for parties. The last thing you want to do is to not eat all day so you can “save” the calories for later. If you go to the party on an empty stomach you risk eating everything in sight! Try having a bigger, healthier meal about 30-60 minutes before the party. This meal should consist of a good portion of protein and nutrient dense vegetables like broccoli, kale or spinach. The protein and vegetable combination will keep you satiated (satisfied) and full for longer. Since your stomach will be full, the amount of hors d'oeuvres you’ll eat subsequently become much less.
Tip #3 – Are You The Host? If So Cook Healthier Dishes!
If you’re the one hosting the party you have full control over what will be served. Even though it’s the holidays, that doesn’t mean that only high fat, calorie dense meals need to be served. If you’re trying to be more health conscious then do just that! Serving great tasting, cleaner, healthier meals will not only be better for your waist line, it will reduce risk of bloating, and that “food hangover” the following day. You will also impress your loved ones with what a great chef you are! Who knows you may even inspire them to choose a healthier lifestyle.
Tip #4 – Drink This NOT That
If you are going to be indulging in alcoholic beverages then you should try to be smart about which ones you choose to sip on. Typically, the spirits that have the least amount of calories are: gin, vodka and white rum. You can choose to drink these on ice, with water or with club soda to cut back on the calories. Another tip is to not hold onto your drink. Place it down after every sip. You’re more likely to drink it quicker if it’s in your hand, which makes it much easier for you to over drink. Between each alcoholic drink, have a glass of water. Not only will this cut down on alcohol consumption, but water will also help keep your body hydrated, plus flushing the alcohol through your system faster which will decrease the chance of a hangover the following day.
Tip#5 – Get enough sleep
You always hear the comments “sleep is overrated” or “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”. Many people don’t realize that lack of sleep is correlated to low metabolism since it interferes with your biological clock that regulates how your body functions. Insufficient sleep is also known to increase your hunger hormone which will make you consume more calories than you actually need. We recommend people get 8 hours of sleep every night.