The winter holidays are a wonderful time of year – full of cheer, good company and lots of food and drinks. It’s also a time of year when it’s easy to fall off the wagon for your exercise and diet regime, especially if you’ve been inundated with family obligations, travel and parties.
If you have veered off course, don’t despair! It’s not productive to beat yourself up about it. Forgive yourself, let it go, and resolve to get back on track as soon as possible.
We’ve compiled a few tips for getting back on track with your routine.
Brown- bag your lunch
One of the main culprits for holiday over-eating is the abundance of less-healthy choices available to you. It’s hard to say no to your favorite foods when they’re readily available. Making your own lunch will help you regain control of your diet after the holiday hoopla.
When you make your own food you are in control of ingredients, portion sizes, and caloric intake.
Bringing your own food to work will also save time and money during lunch hour. If your schedule allows, use the time you saved by not waiting in line at the food court to take in a midday fitness class or to do a quick workout.
If making it to the gym on your lunch hour isn’t possible, consider using some of your lunch hour to do some yoga in your office, or to take a walk.
Skip the alcohol
When enjoyed in moderation, having a few Yuletide cocktails or some glasses of champagne on New Year’s Eve can be a lovely way to unwind and enjoy the season. That being said, alcohol is full of empty calories with no nutritional value.
Just two glasses of wine can add up to between 180 to 252 calories, depending on the type. That may not seem like a lot, but over time, it adds up. If losing weight is your goal, you need to be calorie deficient (e.g. eating and drinking fewer calories than you are using) – cutting out alcohol, at least temporarily, is an easy way to work towards this goal.
Make your workouts a priority
Getting back on track after the holiday season requires a certain amount of discipline. You have to prioritize and make exercise an important part of your self-care routine. Schedule blocks of time that are “non-negotiable time”, essentially an appointment with yourself to put towards your workout. Treat this time like a business or medical appointment – it’s time that is set aside especially for your workouts. Building non-negotiable workout time into your routine will help reduce stress and improve your overall happiness and productivity.
If you need further incentive, you can try rewarding yourself for time putting in at the gym. Think of your workouts as a game and choose small rewards for yourself such as a smoothie, a manicure, or buying a magazine for time put in at the gym. Using positive reinforcement of your good behaviour will help get you back on track. If you need help making fitness into a game, the Nike+ FuelBand has some great built-in features to gamify fitting fitness into your daily life.
We’ve said it before in previous blog entries. but having a workout buddy is a great strategy to help you stay motivated with your goals.
If your non-negotiable appointment with yourself isn’t enough, many women are more inclined to keep a workout routine if they have someone to share the experience with.
Ask a friend, coworker, sister, or your mother to meet you at the gym. You can help keep each other motivated and you also enjoy each other’s company while you work out.
If you’re having trouble finding a friend to join you, or if you’d like a bit of help with meeting your post-holiday fitness goals, you can always enlist one of our personal trainers to help.
In our next post we’ll be addressing how to keep your New Year’s health and fitness resolutions. We’ll be here to help you along the way to strength, fitness, and creating your meeting your personal best-body goals.