Navigating health and fitness during the holiday season can often feel like a daunting challenge. From the onslaught of holiday treats to the disruption of routine travel or visiting family, maintaining your routines, and therefore, your wellness goals can seem nearly impossible. But fear not, in today's article we will dive into this topic and I will provide you with practical tips and strategies for maintaining your fitness and health goals amidst the holiday chaos.
Traveling during the holiday season is inevitable for many. However, it doesn't have to spell disaster for your fitness goals. We emphasize the importance of having a clear goal in mind when traveling. To ensure you stay on track, leverage gym trial memberships while traveling and planning your workouts according to your goals. A lot of times you can get a few visits or even up to a week free at a gym if you tell them you're interested in joining. If this fails then just bite the bullet and pay for however long you'll need access. The few bucks is easily worth keeping up with progress towards your goals.
In addition to staying on track with our fitness goals, our workouts will also provide us with a buffer to allow us to enjoy the food side of things during the holidays. Ensuring we are staying on track with our workouts - and maybe even throwing in some extra effort during this time of year (I always do) - will midigate the negative effects of eating outside of our normal diet.
When it comes to those holiday indulgences, moderation is the name of the game. We want to partake in the festivities and enjoy the homemade, generational recipes that come around once per year - but we can't get out of control. The holiday season is rife with food temptations and alcohol - from family dinners to office parties. However, it's possible to savor these treats and moments without overdoing it. The trick is to be present and mindful. Understand the situation and enjoy yourself - but don't forget what we are striving for the other 11 months out of the year. What you want in the moment, is never greater than what you want in the bigger picture.
In line with this, limiting snacking and saving yourself for one main indulgence works well. It's crazy how quickly calories can accumulate when you snack on processed foods for a couple hours, then throw a big meal down on top of it all. In addition to this, always prioritze protein during these times. This will help fill you up and make the overall macro breakdown of whatever you're comsuming more favorable for body composition. If the meal doesn't consist of a good quality protein option, always have an emergency protein shake handy to throw down before you begin eating - it can go a long way. NO EXCUSES. Lastly, post-meal movement is also encouraged to aid digestion and limit the insulin spike that often accompanies large meals. A nice steady 10 minute walk is all it takes upon finishing your food.
Finally, fasting windows can play a role in maintaining your health during the holiday season. After your last meal of the day, try to wait 12-15 hours before eating again. This gives your body ample time to digest and process the food, contributing to overall health and wellness. If you have followed my content, you'll know this is no different than what I usually suggest. I am always implementing a 12 hour feeding window under normal circunstances in everyday life. However, during this time of year, parties and dinners can run late. So, be sure to check when you are finished consuming for the day and be consistent with your twelve hour eating window.
In summary, the holiday season doesn't have to be a fitness derailment. With careful planning, mindful eating, and a bit of creativity, you can navigate the holiday chaos while maintaining your health and fitness goals. Remember, the holiday season is a time to enjoy, so find a balance that allows you to savor the festivities while keeping your wellness in check.
Wishing you and your family all the best this holiday season,