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How to Stay Fit Through the Holidays
Holidays are one of the hardest time of year for people trying to lose weight. Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are two VERY heavy meals, but don't forget about all the Christmas cookies, candies, and snacks you have during the holiday season. Then, when New Year's rolls around, you drink easily 1000+ calories in alcohol. If you want to know how to stay fit through the holidays, here is some advice for you:
Do Exercise First
Throughout the Christmas season, it's vital that you put your exercise above everything else. If that means you show up to your party late or spend less time working on the fancy dinner, so be it. You can scale your exercise back to a 20-minute HIIT workout, but make sure to get it in first thing in the day. It's the key to staying fit even when you're sitting down to a heavy Christmas meal.
Find Your "Bad Days"
How much exercise do you think you're going to get on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day? How about the day after New Year's binge drinking? These are the "bad days" when you're not going to get in a workout. Understand that, and don't bother trying to force yourself. However, every OTHER day of the holiday season should be a day to fit in a workout!
Make it Easy
It may be easy enough to work out at the gym across town because it's right next to your office, but what about those days you don't go in to work? No one wants to drive clear across town on their winter holidays! On those days, make it easy on yourself and plan a workout at home, or with your family. For example, go on a hike in a nearby forest or on a mountain, or take a bike ride with your kids' new bikes. Find something that is easy and convenient, and you'll be much more likely to actually do it. The holidays are a time when we all want to relax and take it easy, so go easy on yourself with your workouts.
This is a truly difficult one, but all the more important during this time of year! There are plenty of healthy dishes to enjoy: turkey, ham, and pretty much any veggie dish. There are also no-no foods: sweets, baked goods, cookies, cakes, and most desserts. You can have a bit of mashed potatoes, stuffing, and other "less bad" foods, but try to limit yourself. Focus on eating the healthy foods: the proteins, fruits, veggies, and healthy fats. That's the key to avoiding excessive weight gain on your holiday!
This is a pretty chilly time of year for most people, and the last thing you want to do is spend your holidays sick in bed. Before you head out for a run, a bike ride, or a workout, make sure you're dressed warmly. Cover your mouth and nose with a scarf when you run, and keep that heavy coat on no matter how hot you get. It's better to sweat more than end up sick!
This is definitely going to be a tough one to hear, but it's a must if you want to stay fit during the holidays. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram, almost twice what you get per gram of protein and carbs. Alcohol is empty calories that slows down your digestion, so it's a double whammy that will lead to serious weight gain if you're not careful. Try to avoid drinking when eating food, and limit yourself to one drink per day.