5 Tips for Making Progress over the Holidays | Erin Stern
The holidays are a wonderful time of year. We’re able to take some time off, see family, and eat…a lot. Many of us stress about this time of year, as temptation seems to be everywhere. Coworkers bring cookies into the office, parties with trays of fried finger foods, and grandma pushing her famous casserole – all can take a toll on the waistline. How do we avoid most of the pitfalls and continue to stay on track? I have 5 quick tips that can help you ease through the holidays, while enjoying the holidays!
Ditch the “DIET”. When thinking about a diet, what words come to mind? Deprivation, scarcity, and off-limits are what I think about. It’s human nature to crave the things we can’t have. So, if you put yourself on a diet, you’re more likely to overindulge when you give yourself the opportunity. Instead of a diet, tell yourself that you’ll make healthy decisions most of the time. If you have a nonstop craving for something, have a measured out portion of it!
Don’t fall off the wagon. Most permanent weight gain happens from the “f*&k it” mentality. Often, we think of overindulgence as bad. So, while we’re at it, we might as well keep eating junk. A little slip up here and there isn’t bad. It just means that you’re human. One large meal won’t derail your progress, but days of going on a holiday cookie bender will. Brush off what happened and get back on track as soon as possible.
Plan for big meals. You can do a few things to get you ready for a big holiday meal like bank extra calories, train hard before you go, and load up on veggies. On the day of the meal, reduce your carbohydrate intake. Don’t fast before the meal. Instead, eat small meals that are high in protein and contain some healthy fats. Hit the gym before you go to dinner. This will help rev up your metabolism. Once you’re at dinner, choose the foods you absolutely love to eat. Load up half your plate with leafy greens or veggies, and the other half with your favorites. Enjoy the meal and return to your program the next day guilt free.
Mind your NEAT. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis can help us burn between 600-1000 calories per day. NEAT is simply the calories we burn while doing everyday tasks. Get up and move around frequently especially if you can’t make it to the gym! Easy ways to increase your NEAT include taking the stairs, using a standing desk, fidgeting, walking, and doing chores.
Look at the big picture. Reframe your brain to keep perspective on the main goal or big picture. If you slip up, that is okay and is normal. Progress will continue if you’re making good decisions most of the time. Know that you’ll hold water weight after a carb-heavy meal, but that it is only temporary. I can’t stress enough the importance of just doing the right thing most of the time. Success is never going to be a linear thing, and I believe the journey should be challenging and enjoyable. This means eating meals from a Tupperware and eating meals where you think you may pop afterward! I try to keep that ratio to about 90/10.
Those are my 5 tips for making progress through the holidays. Make time for yourself, and make time to train! I rely on BetaTOR to help me get more quality reps in during my workouts. I can train longer and harder with it.
Thanks for reading! Until next time, train hard, y’all!