December can bring many twists and turns, and I am not talking about the stripes on candy canes, but in the form of holiday parties, late nights (lack of sleep), extra stress (holiday shopping), etc.
All of these things can make fitness harder through the holidays. Here’s what you need to do to focus on the basics, control the controllables, and use your fitness to help you feel great and enjoy the holiday season:
1. Work on getting 7+ Hours of sleep. Naps count! Studies show that people who under sleep both eat more calories, and make less ideal decisions with the calories they do eat.
2. Make it into the gym 3-4 days each week. Working out will instantly boost your “happy hormones” making you feel instantly better, and helping you to combat the stress hormone (cortisol).
3. Plan ahead for parties by getting extra protein, vegetables, and eating real food earlier in the day. This will help balance any over-eating of less healthy foods you might eat at the party.
4. Pick healthier alternatives for your beverages (try not to drink your calories). Stick to water, protein shakes, coffee & tea (without any added sugar).
5. Have a rough goal for your holiday season: do you want to plan ahead more and be more conservative, aim for moderation and not lose too much ground on your health and fitness goals, or party hard and be willing to suffer the consequences? Where do you want to start out in 2020?
Pro Tip: the Calendar Challenge is a great way to work on being consistent with your health & fitness! All you need is a calendar, and each day you reach your nutrition goals, you mark with a green slash. Each day you workout you add an additional slash to make an X. At the end of each month you will be able to see how well you did, or where you have room for improvement!