How To Stay On Track Over the Holiday Season
The holidays are right around the corner and it can cause panic for those working towards weight loss goals or those working to maintain the hard work they have put in over the course of the year. You can be successful throughout the holidays with the right mindset and by having a plan in place. We’ve put together a list of our favorite strategies to support staying on track this holiday season.
Bring healthier alternatives to holiday parties.
Do some research in advance to find low-calorie, high-protein, festive treats that you can bring to share. Having an alternative to high-calorie, sugar-filled holiday food will make it easier for you to stay on track. Ideal Protein and Bariatric Foodie offer some great recipe ideas.
For holiday dinners, swap out traditional, high-calorie holiday dishes for a lighter version.
Mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower
Fried turkey with oven-roasted turkey
Canned cranberry sauce with unsweetened apple sauce or fresh cranberry sauce sweetened with stevia
Green bean casserole with steamed, fresh green beans
If alcohol is tempting to you, bring a festive mocktail to have as an alternative. Rosemary, cranberries, and apple slices make festive garnishes and can add a hint of flavor.
Hit your water and protein goals earlier in the day.
As the holiday season approaches we are less likely to follow our normal schedules and routines. It’s easy to get busy and forget to stay hydrated or get all of your protein in. Start early and aim to hit your goals earlier in the day.
If you are attending holiday parties/gatherings, make sure to fill up on protein and drink plenty of water before you get there. If you’re full and hydrated, you’ll be less likely to make poor choices.
Try to get your workout in early. As the day progresses it’s easier to get caught up in all of the extra tasks the holidays bring. If you can cross your workout off early in the morning, it will give your metabolism a boost and help set the tone of your day.
Getting a workout in doesn’t always mean going to the gym. Here are some ways to stay active without setting foot in the gym:
Throw a frisbee with your friends or family
Hiking: TrailLink can help you find hiking routes in your area
Recreational sports (soccer, rugby, basketball, baseball, volleyball, pickleball, softball, or kickball)
Active family events: minigolf, laser tag, paintball, or bowling
Jump on a trampoline: there are now indoor trampoline parks
Rollerblading or roller skating
Cross-country skiing or downhill skiing
Martial arts (karate or jiu-jitsu)
Aerial silks class
It’s no secret that the holidays are stressful. Stress is a trigger for many people to overeat or indulge in calorie-dense foods. Be mindful of what causes you stress during the holidays and eliminate that stress wherever possible. Finding non-food-related ways to cope with stress is also a helpful strategy. Try one of these coping strategies when you are starting to feel stressed:
Take a walk
Work on a puzzle
Do breathing exercises
Schedule a massage
Go to a yoga class
Find an accountability partner.
Everything is easier with support! Find someone that is also health-focused this holiday season and see if they want to be your accountability partner. Schedule workouts together, find holiday recipes to share, and keep each other accountable throughout the season.
Get plenty of sleep.
When there is so much to do, it’s easy to stay up late to get everything done. Not getting enough sleep can make cravings worse and can slow down your metabolism. Keep a regular routine so that your brain recognizes when it’s time to go to sleep. Try reading a book or drinking decaf tea. Make sleep a priority by starting your bedtime routine on time.
Looking for some support this holiday season? Our registered dietitian, Katie Wells, offers STAR coaching and can work with you to put together a plan to support your success. Our STAR (Start Transforming and Achieve Results) Coaching Program provides the education and accountability you need to develop healthy eating habits and lose weight. Katie Wells is passionate about health and fitness and will partner with you to transform your lifestyle.
To learn more about our STAR Coaching Program or to schedule a consultation with Katie, please call us at (615) 342-5820 or complete our contact form.