Hey folks, the holiday season is here, which means plenty of parties, pastries, and picture-taking. It can also mean falling off your fitness plan and losing all of the progress you worked so hard for, so here are some tips to stay motivated:
Start your New Year’s resolution now
Fitness goals such as leaning out probably rank #1 for New Year’s resolutions, so why wait? If you start now, then when things get in the way such as time off from the gym and holiday eating, at least you’ll be in a better starting position than if you were to let yourself go completely.
Use the law of compensation
It’s all about the calories, baby. There’s no reason to guilt yourself for eating chocolate and the like, just know that all calories count. Feel free to treat yourself to what you like; just cut back in other areas. It might be skipping dinner if you had a big lunch, saving the pie for tomorrow if you already had a lot of candy, choosing calorie-free drinks if you’re planning to have a “rich” dessert, or indulging in an extra workout.
Workout with a partner
If you belong to a gym, this is a good time to use social support, as the biggest challenge this season will probably be getting through the door. Workout with a friend or anyone you know who frequents your gym at the time you work out. If you’re more of a loner (and single), there’s nothing wrong with scheduling your workout when you know the gym “hottie” will be there, if it keeps you motivated. Just don’t be creepy.
If you work out at home, you’ll need more willpower, but you can still create a positive, supportive environment. Use exercise videos, play some pumped up music, go on a walk with a friend to chit-chat, or take your dog to the big park, and dress warmly.
Do something fun
If you’re not in the mood for exercise, ditch the rigid routines for now and do something fun–this might be a Zumba class, in-ring boxing, indoor rock climbing or whatever your preferences are.
If you need something more relaxing (the holiday season can be stressful) then some simple stretching or a yoga class might be more helpful.
Avoid getting S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
Seasonal Affective Disorder is real and part of it has to do with the sun elevating your feel-good hormone, Serotonin. It can be hard in the winter, but get outside during the day to get some sunshine and fresh air to the extent possible.
Try on your “nice” clothes
This is not about squeezing into skinny jeans; but using your [properly fitting] clothes as a reference point to know if you’re straying too far off your normal, comfortable size. And, you’ll probably be wearing these clothes during the holiday occasions.
Schedule some “me” time
Shopping for and preparing gifts can be stressful, so can traveling, hosting guests and visiting family. Look for any opportunities in the day to be self-indulgent without adding stress. Lay in a dim room and meditate, get a massage, unplug from the world at least an hour a day. If you relieve stress by being active, spend some fun time with the kids, or work on a fun creative project.
Don’t weigh yourself after a big-eating day
You won’t like what the scale says; but it also won’t represent what you think it does. Food mass and water create big gains on the scale, and after a big-eating day, you’ll gain more weight than body fat. This weight drops just as rapidly when you go back to normal eating.
Practice good hygiene
If you have extended time off, it can be easy to lower your standards, and this creates a snowball effect into other areas of your life. Sleep at normal times, start your day with a shower, shave, clean your teeth, try a new hairstyle if you want, do things that make you feel good about yourself.
If you have a tip you would like to add, please leave a comment below.