Many people dread the holidays, as they fear putting on too much weight or not being able to enjoy themselves. However, it does not need to be a case of losing weight OR enjoying the holiday period. It is possible to do both!
We have all been there: overindulging throughout the holiday period, which causes us to feel miserable throughout January. So, what can you do to prevent this from happening?
Tip #1. Re-Evaluate the Importance of Your Goals
What's your main objective? Unless you have a wedding in January or a specific target that involves reaching a certain weight within a specified period, there is no need to be so hard on yourself.
We're not saying you should go rogue and eat everything in sight! However, rather than obsess over every pound you lose, focus on preventing holiday weight gain and maintaining your results. If you do this, you can keep your current progress until you can go again in January.
Tip #2. Re-Focus on What You Can
Now, if you still want to keep losing weight throughout December, there is nothing wrong with that. However, you must accept that you won't indulge as much in your favorite drinks, food, or sweets. Frankly, while you don't have to be super strict with yourself, you also can't just eat what and how much you want if you want to keep losing weight.
Instead, find a way to appreciate all the foods and drinks that you like and can be included in a balanced weight loss diet even around the holidays. For instance, how about swapping your pumpkin spice latte for a hearty ginger and lemon tea or the turkey leg for the breast? They both are still festive but will add significantly fewer calories to your daily intake. Also, focus on filling up on lean protein and vegetables before eating your carbs.
Tip #3. Stay Active While Socializing
A lot of festive activities involve eating, drinking, and lounging. So, why not think outside of the box and do something active? Friends and families can enjoy many great activities throughout December, such as ice skating, going to Christmas markets, or simply taking a walk.
How about suggesting active quality time spent with loved ones where you might still enjoy a hot cuppa but also include movement into your holiday shenanigans?
Tip #4. Plan Your Food
During the festive period, you may feel like you don't have the capacity to prepare food, and that's okay! You can still plan your meals to a certain degree even if you don't cook everything yourself.
For instance, why not check out the menu in advance if you are going out for a Christmas meal? Doing this allows you to study the ingredients and calories to select dishes that best align with your fat-loss plan. If you can participate in the organizing and have your say in where to go, you can suggest a location with foods you like that fit your plan.
Tip #5. Sleep and Stress Management
The end of the year can be stressful and super busy for many people. Managers can pressure employees to finish tasks before the year ends. Plus, add in family gatherings and socializing; it is not hard to see why people feel run down when Christmas day comes.
So, if your goal is to juggle that all and still stick to a weight loss plan, it's imperative to make sure you plan your days to have sufficient rest and recovery. Make a point of sticking to your bedtime, and schedule relaxing activities regularly to help you release stress.
Tip #6. Stick to a Workout Schedule
A little bit of extra planning goes a long way during the festive period. Organizing your weeks by scheduling your workouts into your calendar is a good idea.
If you make them non-negotiable and plan everything around them, you'll feel much better about yourself, even if your nutrition plan deviates a little. If you do not add your workouts to your calendar, they will be the first thing you let slide when you run out of time during the day.
Tip #7. Schedule Intentional Diet Breaks for the Holiday Dates
Rather than taking your diet on a day-by-day basis, work with weekly calorie targets in mind. This will enable you to schedule diet breaks for important days without impacting your results. For instance, you can plan a diet break for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. You will also probably want a diet break when celebrating Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve.
Once you have specified your diet breaks, you can ensure the rest of the month involves sheer dedication to your goals. Stay on plan and focused for the time in between every diet break. By doing this, you won't feel bad when having a break, and you will be able to enjoy it properly, knowing that it will not prevent you from achieving your goals.
How would that look on your Calendar? There are roughly 4 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is no reason you can't stick to your plan n those 4 weeks. Even if you have a gathering once a week, you can shift your calorie intake to allow for more on those days and less on the days before or after to bring it to your weekly target. The same goes for the week before Thanksgiving and the week between Christmas and NYE.
Have a great festive season while still losing weight
If you want to keep losing weight throughout the holiday period, consider using a one- or two-day diet break while still eating in moderation. You can also push hard from now until Christmas, knowing you can take a day or two off. Just ensure that one day doesn't turn into a whole week, and you don't eat and drink 2-3x of your daily intake within a day. You can enjoy everything in moderation.