We have all been there when it comes to holiday time; restricting ourselves from the food we love and then guilt tripping ourselves into anxiety for giving in to our temptations. It's not fair, we are already the weirdo at the office who doesn't partake in the binge eating of pizza, cake, and donuts. We already are at the restaurant annoying the waiter and chef with our demand of oil and not butter or sauce on the side. We already count up those calories and make sure we have the proper energy imbalance. All this hard work and the masses during November and December tempt us with all we have given up.
I say, F^K F@T. There is no reason that we on a journey cannot have it all. Here are a few tips on how to stay successful during the holidays.
1. Remember that you have better habits:
Especially if you have been journaling and making a conscious effort to develop healthy habits like drinking water, going to bed earlier, and eating more veggies. The fact that it is the holiday season does not equate to reverting back to an old lifestyle. The fact is some things just aren't going to please you as much as they used to. If someone has worked hard to restore their gut health with probiotics and increase water intake; chances are slim joy will be derived from sugary desserts. The seratonin levels have elevated naturally and there is no longer an imbalance between healthy and unhealthy bacteria in the body. Without that unhealthy bacteria to feed, sugar isn't going to produce the same euphoric sensation as it used to.
2. Maintenance is the new priority:
For those of us on a weight-loss journey, calories have been reduced to 1700 cal per day. That means technically there are an extra 300 calories you can indulge in before any real sabotage could be of concern. Energy balance is the goal not denial of joy. 2000 calories a day intake with 2000 calories a day output is the formula to maintain whatever current weight goal you have. That being said, should you want to eat 2500 or even 3000 calories a day, make sure that activity stays equal. Visit local businesses that require walking around the store, dance like crazy at the office Christmas party, or assist in putting up decorations rather than overseeing the kids. Activity is the key to energy balance not starvation.
3. Stressing isn't going to help:
When we force ourselves to make snap decisions about what to do or eat, we give ourselves a little injection of the hormone cortisol. While cortisol is the hormone responsible for regulating the immune system and metabolism, high amounts of cortisol result in weight gain in the face and abdomen. We feel tense and anxious, the muscles weaken, and we become dehydrated. The dehydration is linked to the weight gain since most of us cannot tell if we are hungry or thirsty because the body signals us the same way. Plan ahead when it comes to shopping, and even prep some healthy snacks for inbetween plates of leftovers.
4. Regimens should be maintained:
If you are working out the LegitFit way, chances are you have both a gym regimen and a homee regimen. Whether you are travelling or just enjoying a stay-cation for the holiday, keep consistent with the bodyweight regimen you have been prescribed. Snow may keep us away from class or sessions, however, there is never a reason to not dedicate time to do a 1 min plank, single leg balance exercises, or alternative cardio movements. All of these bodyweight exercises are designed to be done anywhere. I once took a trip to Portland, OR from Pittsburgh, PA by Amtrak train which took 3 days there and back. Everytime the train stopped for a break, I did a 1 min plank and 1 min of burpees. 15 stops a day meant I got 30 mins of exercise in every day of my journey. Every minute counts!
5. The holidays prese nt optimal timing to enroll family members in your journey:
Be the light where darkness rules. Make a plant-based alternative dish and don't tell anyone that you did. Oreos are vegan, you don't see anyone complaining about Oreos. Suggest active group activities like "Heads up, Seven up", "Duck duck goose!" and "Musical Chairs". Mostly, wear your newfound lifestyle with pride. Even when that jealous cousin suggests that you look sick from the weight loss, simply recite your squat stats or talk about the friends you have in the group class you love. We don't have to preach to teach, yet we all would feel bad if a family member suffered or even passed away from a chronic disease brought on by lifestyle choices. Take the opportunity to share the joy this new life has brought you.
Check out the Cardio Alternative video in the Tips and Tools page and remember to try out the Yoga videos under Work Outs.