There’s no doubt that the holidays call for celebrating, indulging, and relaxing. For some reason, when December comes around my mind likes to make up every excuse to replace my diet and exercise routine with baked goods and lazy weekends indoors. While a little holiday decadence is a must this time of year, there’s no reason to reverse your hard work and healthy habits in a matter of a few days. That said, I’ve learned how to stick to a few helpful tricks that allow me to have my cake and eat it too during the holidays.
Last year, Lauren shared her favorite foolproof tips for staying fit this month — from scheduling workouts to eating healthy snacks. And today, I’ve come up with another set of guidelines that will keep your figure looking fit in those holiday party dresses. Without further ado, here are six tips for staying slim this holiday season.
1. Watch Your Portions
If you missed our post about the perfectly portioned plate last month, this might be a good time to brush up on your food fractions. The easiest way for me to remember how to control my portions is to make sure the majority of my plate is loaded up with veggies. You don’t have to deny yourself a bread roll or a slice of pie, just make sure vegetables are the main part of your meal. That way, you will fill up on healthy, nutritious, and low-calorie foods before it’s time to splurge on the indulgent stuff.
2. Grab a Buddy
The holidays are everyone’s favorite time of year to reunite with family and friends. One great way to catch up with people you haven’t seen in a while is to make your get-together an active one. If one of your besties is in town for the holidays, plan a walking coffee date with her. Lauren loves “meeting hikes,” or business meetings that take place while hiking a trail. Apply the same concept to your holiday catch-ups with friends and family to stay active and be social at the same time.
No one wants to spend all day in the gym when there is holiday shopping, dinner parties, and bundling up to do. So, if you only have 30 minutes to spare, make it worth your time by amping up your workout. One of my favorite ways to maximize my workouts is by doing interval training. Click here to see my favorite interval workout — and make it a regular part of your holiday exercise routine.
4. Just Add (Soda) Water
Cocktails go hand-in-hand with holiday celebrations, so it’s nearly impossible to avoid having a libation here or there. However, that doesn’t mean you have to gulp down extra calories with your refreshment. One of my best little tips for slimming down your drink is replacing sugary drink mixers with soda water. If you’re the type who likes specialty drinks, indulge in just one. Then, choose a low-cal option for your second drink. And don’t forget to drink enough water to stave off any unnecessary cravings, too. I recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces of water each day to stay healthy and keep your appetite in check.
Exercise is often disguised in fun activities we love doing with friends and family. In fact, anything that gets you breathing and gets your heart rate up will help to burn calories during the holidays (and burn off that pumpkin pie, too). Ice skating, sledding, and snowball fights all count as exercise! According to Daily Makeover, ice-skating actually burns 420 calories per hour. Or, if you live somewhere that’s warm enough to exercise outdoors, grab your family for a game of flag football — it burns 450 calories per hour. Who said you had to go to a gym to log in your workout?
6. Pamper Yourself
I’ll admit that when the weather cools down, I always want to indulge in every way — eating, shopping, bar hopping, you name it. But, I have recently found that when I feel like pigging out during the holidays, giving myself a little TLC is much better for my waistline. So, instead of indulging in baked goods and comfort food, I pamper myself with an at-home spa treatment. Try indulging in a DIY facial, a personal mani/pedi, or a relaxing hair mask. If you’re like me, you will notice that these little beauty indulgences will have you focusing on feeling beautiful from the inside out, and snacking on junk food will sound anything but appealing.
While sticking to these tips is a great way to stay in shape during the holidays, I definitely believe in eating, drinking, and being merry as well. Be sure to keep your diet and exercise routine realistic and do what works for you.
Do you have any tips for staying on a healthy track this month?