The hectic holiday guide to keeping your health goals through the silly season
Fitting fitness in is difficult at any time of the year. I’m a personal trainer, I teach group fitness classes, and I love working out. But still, I literally have to add my fitness plans to my weekly calendar, make certain that someone is around to watch the kids, and be ready to adjust if a work emergency pops up (and let’s be honest: those emergencies seem to manifest once a day).
Add in holiday parties, end-of-year work deadlines, family visits, and travel, and it feels nearly impossible to make it all happen. Plus, the pressure mounts as the new year approaches and everyone starts asking: “What are your resolutions?”
Not to use an already over-used phrase, but it really is crucial to put on your oxygen mask first. Take care of yourself, and you can take care of everything and everyone around you.
So, let’s talk about a few hectic healthy holiday strategies that can help you stay on track.
Food and Diet
There’s something that’s just so nostalgic about holiday treats. Pumpkin spice invades the store shelves, everyone starts bringing cookies and homemade treats to the office, and you dig out the old family cookbook to create some of the most delicious and special meals from your childhood holidays.
It’s so easy to think, “It’s okay to overindulge, because I almost never get to eat these things,” or “I’ll make up for it after the holidays are over and go back to a more balanced diet.” But that quickly leads to not just one cookie, but three – or seconds and thirds when you’re already full.
One popular approach to holiday health is the 80/20 rule, where 80 percent of choices are healthy and smart, and 20 percent are fun and indulgent. It’s a way to feel fulfilled and enjoy some special treats without totally derailing your lifestyle. You can also apply it to your plate: 80 percent of what you pile on is healthy (roasted vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains), and 20 percent is whatever you want!
I find that that 20 percent guideline is incredibly helpful because it really reminds me to pick the things that are special and that I really want, and not just take some of everything.