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Don’t fear the Christmas cheer! How to stay on track during the holidays

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For many, the Christmas season means stressing over calories, feeling guilty for overeating and experiencing frustration because you can’t seem to resist the food at those holiday parties.

Some of you may be groaning, thinking “It’s November and she’s writing about this now?!” That’s right, I am and that’s because planning ahead can help you get into the mindset of healthy eating now  – long before you see those chocolate oranges. Read on to discover how you can still enjoy Christmas without the (food) stress.

Don’t Drop the Treadmill for the Mall

Christmas is a distracting time of year. Evenings and weekends become consumed with Christmas shopping – before you know it, you haven’t been to the gym in a week. 

Make it a priority NOT to skip the gym for the mall. Exercise is inevitably connected to good eating. If you stay on track with exercise, you are less likely to overindulge. Going to the gym makes you accountable – you feel fit and healthy and don’t want to ruin it by overeating. Do your best to complete at least half of your weekly workouts during the Christmas season. If you are really busy, change the time of your regular workout. Try a lunch time run or go later in the evening. The change in routine will also help freshen up your fitness regime – remember, different is good!

Eat (healthy foods), Drink (water), and Be Merry (before the party)!

If you starve yourself before a Christmas gathering in an attempt to ‘save’ calories, you’ll end up eating triple the amount of food.  Before the holiday gathering, make a conscious effort to drink more water than normal and to eat fiber and protein packed food like plain greek yogurt and/or fruit. By the time you arrive at the party, you’ll be feeling healthy and good about yourself for eating so well. In fact, you’ll be feeling so good, you won’t want to ruin it by overeating. 

Plan + Prepare = Success!

Let’s face it – Christmas is a time of celebration and part of what makes it wonderful is the delicious treats. Go ahead and enjoy – just in moderation! There is a fine line between indulging and overindulging. So make the holidays special by choosing only a few special times to indulge. Follow my proven method!

Step One: Take a calendar and circle the dates of upcoming Christmas social gatherings (including parties and family dinners).

Step Two: Jot out all the details of each gathering: where it’s held, how many of your friends are attending, whether or not it’s for work, etc.

Step Three: Rank the gatherings from one to five according to the parties you are most looking forward to.  There you have it – it’s the top two (or three depending how many there is in total!) gatherings that you allow yourself to indulge in.

The whole point is to structure and plan – doing so makes you less likely to overindulge. Planning ahead fixes that intention in your mind and makes you more likely to stick with it.

Fitness and eating sensibly takes discipline. But the rewards are life long – a renewed sense of confidence, a healthy heart and the empowering feeling of being fit and healthy. It’s this that will keep you feeling great all year long.

Remember: keep fit and healthy – no matter what season it is!

More Inspiration! Try out this article on the 5 pillars to health!

Author: Jennifer Kelly is a fitness guru and occasional writer for Optimyz Magazine.


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