The holiday season is a great time to be mindful about your health and fitness goals. The holiday season can oftentimes be a period of overindulgence and temptation. Months of parties. Temptingly delicious potluck dishes. Way too many cookies and pies. Cozy homes protecting us from stormy weathers. It’s difficult to maintain your motivation to exercise and eat right amidst the many holiday and winter distractions.
Most women I know go into the holidays hoping not to gain too much weight and just accepting that it is likely to happen. That doesn’t have to be the case! You can maintain all of the good work we do at camp AND eat pie. The important thing is to be good to yourself, be mindful of your eating habits, and keep active. Here are some helpful tips to keep your booty in check over the holidays:
At big holidays meals, focus on your ‘favorite dishes’. We all have that one dish we absolutely must have for Thanksgiving. Even if your favorites are not the healthiest of the dishes on the table, eat it and enjoy it, guilt-free. However, make choices about other things you might be willing to give up as a result. For example, I love green bean casserole, but now I skip the stuffing and most other casserole dishes on the table. Gotta leave room for the pumpkin pie! Think about it as a calorie budget. Distribute your calories wisely!
Portion control can take you far during the holidays. I love a good potluck and my friends/acquaintances can cook! I have found that taking small servings or mini-bites of what’s on the table usually satisfies my cravings for the delectable treats without going overboard or feeling deprived. Again, choose your unhealthy dishes wisely!
Consider healthier alternatives to your favorite holiday dishes. Think about the essence of the dish and why you love it. Deconstruct it into a healthier alternative. I still enjoy a good, soupy green bean casserole, but I now make a simpler and healthier green bean dish with sautéed onions, garlic, and seasonings and leave crumbled bacon and crispy onions on the side as a topping. Upon reflection, I realized I didn’t even like the creamy soup part of the casserole dish—just the taste of green beans and bacon together (with the texture of something crispy on top)!
Get Fresh Air & Take Time for Yourself
If you are hosting a big party or meal, make sure you make time for yourself the day of. Go for a run or walk in the morning. Take a 5-minute walk around the block before you dive into food preparation. Stand outside in your yard or porch and take 20 deep breaths.
During holiday meals, suggest a post-meal constitutional. Everyone in your family could benefit from going for a walk in the fresh air and it will do wonders for everyone’s disposition.
Drink Lots of Water
Stay hydrated. Water does not have calories! If you drink a glass or two of water before you eat, you feel fuller, which goes a long way toward increasing your willpower to stay away from too many buttery rolls. Also, if you are choosing to eat more calories than normal, you don’t want to drink an excess of calories on top of that.
Traveling during the holidays? Can’t make it to Booty Camp? Stick with an exercise regimen! At a minimum aim to do 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity three times a week. Go for a run. Make up your own Booty Camp workout around the neighborhood. Explore the places you are visiting by going for a long walk. Stay active in whatever way works for your schedule. It’s good for your physical AND mental health this holiday season.
-Contributed by Trainer Gina