Food comas, wine hangovers and lazy Netflix days spent inside sipping Baileys in your morning coffee. OK, maybe a walk in the snow here and there, but then back inside for cookies and rum and eggnog. T’is the season to undo all the gains you made in the last year, right?
Ask yourself, “Is it really worth it?”
If it is, by all means, be jolly and let yourself go for a month, but if you find yourself whimpering the days away in regret and depression come January and planning New Year’s resolutions you kind of know you won’t honor, then do it differently this drinking season.
Here’s the thing: I truly believe you can have it all. You can enjoy your favorite holiday snack and drinks, but without losing your fitness routine, without suffering during workouts in January, and without packing on any pounds. It just takes a little bit of effort.
Here are some tips that will help you feel like you still have it all!
Wake up, pee, brush teeth, get coffee, WORKOUT!
The biggest reason people fall of their workout routine during this time is that they employ the “I’ll workout this evening,” or “this afternoon,” or “after breakfast” workout plan. Then comes a big brunch with holiday punch and suddenly working out doesn’t seem like a priority anymore.
Instead, workout first thing in the morning, immediately after your morning routine. Do it before you shower and feel too clean to workout, and before you eat breakfast and feel too full to move. It’ll be the best emotional high you get all day and it’ll make you feel less guilty when you show up to brunch and eat all the food and punch.
No gym, no problem
If you go out of town during this time, here are three bodyweight workouts that will get your blood flowing and are relatively mentally manageable, and that you can do in just 10-foot-by-10-foot of space:
1. Every 30 seconds x 7 minutes: 4-8 burpees.
The faster you get your intended number of burpees done, the more rest you will get. Try a lower number first, and once you feel comfortable with it, increase your number. It’s a great way to log 50 to 100 burpees in a less painful way than doing 100 burpees for time.
2. Tabata Mash-up:
You can do this with various bodyweight movements, like air squats, push-ups, hollow rocks, hollow holds, burpees, lunges, planks, side planks.
Choose 3 movements and rotate them, working for 20 seconds and resting for 10 seconds for 12 to 16 minutes. Once again, this is a great way to pack in a lot of volume that also allows you to rest, making it easier to handle mentally (most people find) than a “3, 2, 1 go” for time workout.
Staying in a hotel with stairs?
Climb up and down them (run if you’re really into it) and do 1 to 5 burpees at each landing.
Handling holiday feasts
I have often heard the advice that you should eat before you go to a holiday party so you don’t show up hungry. From my experience, all that does it make you eat more because the food there is likely super tasty that you won’t be able to stop yourself. That being said, don’t show up famished and fasted, but go hungry ish. Here are my top three tips: The 3 Ps!
- Plate: We often walk around at parties picking at appetizers not realizing how much we’re actually eating, as we’re eating small bites. But by the end of the night, all those small bites add up into way more calories than you ever would have eaten in one sitting. Instead, grab a pate and fill it, or half fill it, to help you monitor how much you’re actually consuming.
- Protein: Protein fills you up, so definitely get your usual amount of protein in you to help you avoid all the carbs, carbs, carbs.
- Positioning: Position yourself in the room far away from the food table. Hopefully, the engrossing conversations you’re having will be enough to stop you from picking at the food long after you are satiated.
Small Changes in January
Sometimes making plans for the new year is as discouraging as the fitness you lost in December. Often this is because we come up with large, and sometimes unrealistic, goals for the new year.
This year, try something new. Instead of massive change, consider making one small change—creating one new manageable habit—each month. This can be as simple as drinking a glass of water the moment you wake up so you don’t feel so famished for breakfast. Once that becomes a habit, then build in a new small habit the following month. Keep track of these change (write them down), and before you know it you will have created 12 new, healthy habits that become your new normal, as opposed to one giant resolution you make in January and abandon by February.
All that being said, enjoy yourself and your favorite cookies and traditions this Christmas. But keep it reasonable and start 2019 in a better place you ended 2018.