The most wonderful time of the year is once again upon us. We are going to relax. We are going to eat good food, lots of yummy food. And then we are going to rest. And repeat the process until the season passes or we learn to exercise some self-control.
But for most of us, the chances of exercising self-control are on the same level of us winning the lottery. Slim. Zero. None! And so we need great tips on stay fit and eat healthy during the holidays and avoid winter weight gain in order to keep it together in the midst of the jolly good times.
Staying fit and healthy during the holidays is not an easy task. It is hard as it is to make healthy food choices and stay active all year round, and the holiday season requires most of us to dig deeper.
Yes, after enduring 11 months of hard work and dedication to various goals, it only seems natural that we let ourselves go a little and live it to the max for two weeks, three weeks or for some, a few days.
And all this does sound like it is all fun and games until we pick up extra fat which works out to be a battle to lose, especially for those of us who are over a certain age.
Regardless of how busy or lazy you will get during the holidays, you should have a game plan for how you are going to stay fit and eat healthily during the festive season.
By the way, if you have resolved to get fit and lose weight in the new year by joining a gym, be sure to check out this guide on gym tips for beginners.
How to Stay Fit and Eat Healthy During Holidays?
1. How to stay fit during the Holidays: Plan your workouts in advance
‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail’. If during the rest of the year, you just went with the flow, the holidays become a vital time to draw up a schedule.
It is hard to skip a workout that has been weaved into the day’s activities. A workout calendar on hand will help you stay motivated enough not to miss your training.
Keep your holiday workout guide as simple as possible so that it is easy to stick to. If you are travelling away from home and will have no access to gym equipment, make use of your body weight to workout.
Incorporate effective exercise that can be performed using bodyweight such as lunges, squats, push-ups, hip thrusts etc. You can also consider travelling with light exercise equipment that is easy to travel with like resistance bands, ankle weights, or a skipping rope.
Another great way to workout during the holidays when you do not have access to a gym is to just get outside and take a brisk walk, run a mile or two or use Youtube videos.
2. How to eat healthy during the Holidays: Plan your meals in advance
Planning well ahead of time should not only be restricted to training. If you keep a food diary such as MyFitness Pal, log in your meals in advance.
If for instance you have a family Christmas lunch and you know you will stuff your face with all the yummy eats, you could cleverly eat way fewer calories a day or two before the big lunch.
OR you could just eat, and enjoy the day without worrying about calories. The most important point to take away from this little lecture is that you don’t let the day turn into a week, two weeks or however long, of mindless eating because that will all add up. And we all know what happens when all the surplus calories add up over a period of time.
I am against demonising food over the festive season because that just leads to unhealthy eating and mental habits. Check this article on emotional eating if you are concerned about your eating habits.
3. Train before or after the cheat meal
I have heard and read a lot about training before or after the cheat/big meal. The opinions from fitness professionals over this varies. Training before the cheat meal has often won this debate.
My personal advice is to just train the normal way you train. One cheat meal is not going to make you fat, just as one excellent workout won’t make you super sexy nor fit. It is what you do over a long period of time that counts.
Whichever way you decide to stay fit and eat healthy during the holidays, just ensure that it is something that will not make you carry extra weight (pun intended) into the new year.
Remember, people who achieve results do something specifically to achieve those results!
Merry Christmas to you all,
Susan Chanda is a professional content writer/journalist with over 20 years’ experience. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing management from University of South Africa and a diploma in Journalism and Public relations.
Susan has been writing evidence based fitness and health articles since 2016 for Fitness Chat, and is a certified fitness trainer, and diet and nutrition coach.
Fitness Chat is one of the several other websites that Susan owns, or co-owns with her children.
You can read more about Susan here.