How to Stay on Track During the Holidays

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‘Tis the season of holiday parties, sweet indulgences, and celebrating with family and friends. But before you let it sabotage your healthy habits, put staying on track with your goals at the top of your list.

  • Think ahead. Going to a party? Bring a healthy app like whole wheat pita and hummus or veggies and guac so you’ll have at least one healthy go-to option. If you’re traveling, pack healthy snacks to avoid getting “hangry” and making poor choices.
  • Drink lots of water. Besides helping you feel full, water aids in digestion, improves body function, and — bonus — it prevents hangovers. If you drink alcohol, try to alternate every drink with a glass of water.
  • Move. Work out earlier in the day, if you can, before something comes up. If you don’t have time to hit the gym, squeeze in a walk, ice skate, or shovel (in 30 minutes, shoveling burns about 200 calories)!
  • Get an accountability buddy. You’re much less likely to bail on your workout if you make plans with a friend or trainer. To help keep your diet on track, consider meeting with a nutritionist.
  • Post your goals. Post your goals and/or inspiration photos where you’ll see them most often — like on your fridge, bathroom mirror, or computer — to make sure they’re top of mind. 
  • Pile on the veggies. Load at least half your plate with veggies. Better yet, start with a salad first so you’ll be less hungry by the time you get to the stuffing and potatoes.
  • Follow the 80/20 rule. Hey, it’s the holidays, so you deserve a few indulgences! Try to eat healthy 80% of the time but give yourself a break 20% of the time. By not limiting all treats, you’ll have more control when you’re around them.
  • Make being healthy easy. There’s no reason to overcomplicate your efforts. Order healthy foods online, keep recipes simple, and make realistic expectations. Allow yourself some room to enjoy the season.
  • Manage stress. The holidays can be a stressful time of year. Get a massage, meditate, or take a yoga class. A little self-care can go a long way in helping you make smart decisions.
  • Get more Zzzs. Research shows that getting less than six hours of sleep a night can affect hunger-regulating hormones, leading to weight gain. You’ll also have more energy to tackle your holiday to-dos.
  • Start your New Year’s resolution early. Why wait until the New Year to begin your healthy habits. Besides starting the year off closer to your goals, you’ll have a better chance of sticking to your resolution for the long term.

If you slip up, forgive yourself and move on. (This mentality gets easier the more you practice it.) The holidays are about finding a happy balance between caring for your health and spending quality time with your friends and family.

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