Sleigh the Holidays

The holidays are in full swing, and you know what that means….

The season where elastic waist pants are celebrated because we want to eat alllll the things in comfort, right???!!!!!

You guys all know me….I love to eat, and I don’t like missing out on the wonderful foods associated with the holidays, yet I refuse to fall victim to the dreaded holiday weight gain. So how do I manage to still indulge at Christmas celebrations and stay on track? Here are some of my tips to sleigh the holiday season (see what I did there…..hehhehe).

1. Schedule your workouts. I know that may sound silly, but the holidays can be crazy. Brunches here, dinners there, Christmas Caroling, tree lighting, etc…. Review your schedule prior to each week to know what your schedule looks like and schedule in that workout. Make it a priority to get it done. My workouts are a non-negotiable for me. I will not miss them, especially since I know I will be eating a lot. That balance is important to me.

2. Don’t set lofty goals over the holidays. I know, I know….this probably isn’t something you are used to hearing from me. If weight loss is your goal, don’t focus on it during the holiday season. Focus instead on making healthier choices and creating habits that will allow you to be more focused on weight loss goals once you get past the holiday season. These goals could be to just getting in that workout every day or starting to pay attention to the portion sizes of what you are eating.

3. Drink lots of water. Water is your best friend when you are working on getting healthier because it helps you feel fuller longer. Try to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day. Struggle with water? There are lots of great tools out there to help you. I love my Hidrate Spark water bottle because it lights up and syncs with my phone, letting me know when I am not drinking enough. You can grab one HERE.

4. Make five minutes of alone time a priority each day. Many people get overwhelmed with the holidays and the stress that surrounds them. Take at least five minutes each day where you can sit in peace and quiet and decompress from the day. For me, this time happens in the morning with a hot cup of coffee, the Christmas tree lights on, and a soft blanket. No tv, no phone, just me enjoying the peace and quiet. If my day is crazy, I will sneak in an extra five in the evening. This time may take place for you in a bubble bath, by a fire….whatever makes you feel calm.

5.  Make a plate….don’t linger by food. Snacking can do you in over the holidays. Instead of lingering by the spinach artichoke dip that you know you could demolish by yourself, make a small plate and leave the area where the food is placed. This will avoid the constant snacking and also losing track of what you eat. It is easy to “graze” as you talk and catch up with family and friends….and before you know it you will have eaten way more than you wanted. Be aware of the food choices you are making.

6. Focus on portion sizes. There is nothing wrong with eating the holiday foods you love, but eating them in excess can be detrimental. If you want to enjoy something that isn’t the most healthy of options, have a very small amount so you are satisfied and move onto something else on your plate.

7. Make healthier options if you are responsible for bringing a dish. If you are attending a potluck or holiday gathering where you are bringing your own food, make something healthier so you know you can at least count on one healthy option. If you don’t have to make something, always have some healthy snacks in your bag just in case.

8. Enjoy the things you love. Yes, eat the things. The cookies, the pasta, the appetizers….but refer back to #5 and #6.  Do NOT feel guilty for eating things that you like or that are special holiday traditions. All in moderation, my friends.

9. Drink in moderation. If you are someone who loves alcohol, opt for healthier alcoholic drinks, like red wine, white sangria, basic bloody marys, vodka seltzer. Try to drink a glass of water between alcoholic beverages to remain hydrated and also to feel fuller.

10. Wear jeans. Yes, you heard me right. The Queen of Leggings is telling you to NOT wear the elastic waist pants and instead choose something that buttons up, like jeans or dress pants. If you do, you will feel the discomfort if you start to overeat. No one likes feeling like a busted can of biscuits. No one.

Let’s sleigh this holiday season and make choices that make us feel good and set us up for success!

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