Each year, we all reflect on the things we are most grateful for in our lives. Your gratitude list may consist of family, friends, a good job, and a roof over your head, but this year, you can also include your journey to a healthy lifestyle on the list. Though it is harder to stick to a healthy lifestyle during the holiday season, we have compiled the top 7 ways to encourage you to do so.
1. Stick to a Routine as Best You Can. Having a solid plan in place, even if you veer off track a little, is a great strategy to stay healthy and active through the holiday season. Exercise at least five times a week, and eat your protein for breakfast — both will give your metabolism a boost that lasts all day.
2. Exercise in the Morning. Moving your body first thing in the morning starts the day right and helps your body stay stress-free during this busy season. Plus, getting your workout done and out of the way early in the day ensures nothing comes between you and your fitness goals. A quick, 15-minute toning routine or high-intensity walk will make a huge difference in your energy levels for the day. Make these a priority in your morning.
3. Find Balance. Remember this time of year is all about enjoying yourself with friends and family. Don’t feel like you need to deprive yourself of the things you love most about the season, but be sure to stay on track during the days before and after the party. When you stick to a healthy lifestyle and stay consistent, you have wiggle room for a little indulgence here and there. Start your day with protein and eat it first at each meal. Regardless of the occasion, protein needs to come first.
4. Bring Healthy Treats to the Party. The minute someone invites you to a gathering, offer to bring a dish. While this may not be an option for every gathering, it’s always worth offering. This way you know the menu will include at least one bariatric-friendly dish or appetizer.
5. Eat! Don’t make the mistake of not eating all day when you have a dinner party or event that night. Instead, stick to small, protein-dense meals throughout the day, including greens, lean protein, healthy fats, or a protein shake. This ensures you get the fuel you need without going overboard at dinnertime. The same rule applies to skipping meals the day after the event if you had too many treats. Don’t do it! If you overindulged, don’t stress about it. Let go of any negative feelings, move on and just make healthier choices next time. You can make up for poor choices by doing a full body workout the next day.
6. Drink up … on the Right Things. If your body is dehydrated it literally cannot function, and it increases cravings. It’s easy to forget to drink the water your body needs with all the holiday bustle, but your body still needs to stay hydrated. Remember to get in at least 64 oz or more each day.
7. Start a New Tradition. Memorable moments are part of what make the holidays special, and the season offers a chance to create something new to look forward to each year. Whether you rally your friends to walk briskly in your neighborhood, take your family for a neighborhood stroll after dinner or come up with your own signature bariatric-friendly dish, this is your chance to reinvent what this time of year means for you!
By following these seven strategies through the holiday season, you will continue progressing on your journey to health. Happy Holidays!