This time of year can feel out of control. Maybe you’ve been through this cycle before: you hit the gym hard, stick with your diet, and start seeing results...then the holidays roll around and you binge for two months straight, starting the new year feeling sluggish, bloated, frustrated, and disappointed.
Sound familiar? Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to fall into this trap year after year.
But this year can be different.
You can enjoy the festivities while still being mindful of your health. You can nourish your body (and enjoy a few treats) without feeling deprived. You can stay consistent with your workout schedule without missing out on time with loved ones.
It’s all about intentional choices, smart priorities, and a little bit of flexibility. So, if you’re committed to taking care of your body over the holidays, here are five ways to stay motivated, stay on track, and stay the course towards your goals.
PACK A SNACK
Avoiding festive snacks and holiday candy is hard enough—but it gets even tougher when you’re hungry. Keep a stash of healthy snacks in your purse or in your car so that you can stave off the cravings next time there’s a giant platter of cookies at the office. Your future (hungry) self will thank you.
PREP YOUR MEALS
During the busyness of the holiday season, it’s easy to make excuses and tell yourself that you don’t have time for nourishing, homemade meals. Chinese takeout or delivery pizza sound even more appealing on these dark, cold nights, right? But keeping your fridge stocked with healthy options makes it a little bit easier to stay aligned with your diet goals and give your body the nutrition you need. Set aside a few hours every week to roast some chicken, boil some eggs, cook some quinoa, and chop some veggies—and you’re set.
CHOOSE YOUR PRIORITIES
There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself during the holidays. But if you reach for that line too often, you might find yourself indulging at every single holiday party (and they add up quickly). So, instead of giving yourself a free pass at every event, choose one or two extra special occasions—and stick with your diet plan for the rest.
BRING SOMETHING TO SHARE
Holiday events aren’t known for their nutritious food. Between dessert platters, cheese plates, bread baskets, and wine selections...you’ll be lucky to find a vegetable that isn’t deep fried or smothered in cream. So, if you’re planning to enjoy a holiday meal or two with friends or family, try volunteering to bring a dish to share. That way, you know you’ll have at least one healthy option when you sit down to dinner.
CELEBRATE YOUR HEALTHY CHOICES
Let’s not make this holiday season all about limitations, restrictions, rules, or guilt. At the end of the day, it’s a blessing to have extra time to spend with friends and family—and binging on some of Grandpa’s molasses cookies isn’t the end of the world. So, instead of being hard on yourself for the less-than-healthy choices you make, choose to celebrate the good. Celebrate each workout, each glass of lemon water, each serving of greens, and each choice to nourish your body with love.
Here’s to feeling strong, balanced, and happy this holiday season.