Is it actually possible to stay healthy during the holidays?
Pumpkin spice lattes, cookie exchange parties, and your mom’s famous eggnog don’t make it easy to keep up your clean eating goals.
The chilly weather doesn’t help either; it makes cozying up on the couch a lot more appealing than sticking to your fitness goals, especially if those typically include a daily walk or run outside.
So should you just give in to the temptations of the season?
Here at Rise, we believe in finding a healthy way to enjoy the holidays without wrecking your hard work. So we’re sharing seven helpful tips to help you stay on track and reach all your year-end health and fitness goals like a champ:
7 Easy Tips for Maintaining Your Fitness Goals and Clean Eating During the Holidays
Follow these easy tips to stay healthy during the holidays and respect all the hard work you’ve done this year:
1. Don’t Obsess Over This
The holiday season is all about spending time with your friends and family and enjoying all the festivities you’ve come to look forward to.
Obsessing over your health and fitness goals is a surefire way to ruin these warm and fuzzy feelings (and this special time of year).
While we totally get wanting to stay on track, we also know it’s not worth jeopardizing time with loved ones or missing out on holiday flavors that make the season what it is.
So our first takeaway message is to strike a balance. Make room in your schedule to celebrate and keep up your steady workouts.
If you indulge too much or stray far off your clean eating plan, add extra time to your workout or skip certain foods the next day, for example.
Remember to do the best you can. Don’t beat yourself up if some days aren’t as perfect as others — you’re only human!
You’re not going to throw out all the hard work you’ve accomplished this year in just a few weeks. And even if you do, you can wipe the slate clean and get back to your routine come the New Year.
2. Try to Plan Out Your Schedule Ahead of Time
Having a plan is a great way to set yourself up for success, especially since the holiday season makes everyone’s already-hectic life super busy.
To make sure you don’t let busyness take over, we suggest mapping out your schedule at least one or two weeks in advance. If a week or two is too far out, stick with planning the next 1-2 days so you at least have some form of a heads up.
Planning ahead like this ensures you have a better chance of finding balance (tip #1) and staying on track. Pencil in your workouts, potlucks, and gatherings so you can manage your cheating vs. clean eating.
3. Don’t Show Up Starving to Holiday Gatherings
If you want to avoid overeating, never arrive at a holiday party famished.
You’ll be so hungry by that point that you may end up going overboard and eat more than you initially planned. Then you may feel uncomfortable and guilty for not sticking to your goals.
Instead, grab a protein bar on your way to your next holiday party.
You won’t be starved when you arrive, and you’ll likely eat much less while you’re there. This leaves you in a better position to make good decisions regarding what and how much you eat.
4. Try to Bring a Dish to Parties
If you’re worried that you won’t be able to find any healthy meals at your next holiday gathering, offer to bring a dish so you know you have at least one option that fits your clean eating goals.
You may find that your friends and family also appreciate having something healthy to nosh on between all the holiday calorie splurges.
5. Prioritize Protein and Veggies
Here’s one of the most effective tips to stay on track this holiday season: always eat enough protein and veggies before anything else.
When you fill up on protein and veggies, you’ll feel satisfied for longer stretches and less prone to grazing the buffet or dessert table. You’ll be able to enjoy one or two treats without going overboard.
Plus, these food groups deliver more than empty calories; you’ll also snag essential vitamins and minerals to help you stay healthy during cold and flu season.
6. Work Out When You Can
Staying active during the holidays will certainly help you stay on track and inch closer to reaching your fitness goals.
You’ll burn off some of those holiday calories and keep up your energy levels (for more celebrating!).
However, you don’t have to beat yourself up every day just to do that.
Stay active by walking with your family members in your neighborhood after a big holiday meal.
If it’s too cold outside for long daily walks, get in the habit of parking further away when you holiday shop or go to the grocery store. Spend a few extra minutes walking around inside to get in more steps too.
These are both easy ways to sneak in active minutes if you missed a yoga session or HIIT workout. Again, one or two days won’t wreck your fitness goals, but skipping the entire holiday season probably will.
7. Go Easy on Liquid Calories Like Alcohol and Eggnog
As tempting as all those fun holiday drinks are, these can easily wrack up a huge calorie tab — fast. Toss back enough of these, and you’ll definitely put yourself further away from your goals instead of closer.
Since a single cup of eggnog may cost over 200 calories, we suggest enjoying your holiday drinks sparingly. Then you can celebrate without sneaky liquid calories sabotaging your hard work.
Final Thoughts on How To Stay Healthy During the Holidays
As you can see from these tips, it’s totally possible to enjoy the holidays while still maintaining your clean eating goals. And our holiday protein bars in gingerbread, snicker doodle, and mint chip flavors make this task easy-peasy.
The keyword to remember is balance. Instead of obsessing, make a game plan to balance holiday cheer with your fitness goals, and you’ll get the best of both worlds.
Don’t feel bad if you veer off track a bit! You can always jump right back in anytime you need a reset.
What smart tips do you use to stay on track during the holidays? We’d love to know!