Halloween is over, and winter is well on the way (which means we can officially start playing Christmas music!).
Did you know that during this time of year some people actually crave comfort foods more?!
It’s a side effect of something called Seasonal Affective Disorder, a form of depression that occurs around fall or winter and can cause appetite changes. Which often causes you to crave foods high in carbohydrates (hello, comfort food)!
And while not everyone has this disorder, comfort food is high in demand during this time.
I mean look at Thanksgiving. From the sweet potato casserole to the rolls, to the buttery green bean casserole, to the stuffing, the pie…all of it.
It’s just a slew of comfort foods. And it doesn’t stop there. Other holidays, especially Christmas, are also filled with a wide variety of comfort foods, that mind you, can be really hard to resist!
So how can you be sure that all of your hard work in the gym and in the kitchen doesn’t go to waste between now and New Year’s?
Well, lucky for you I have gathered expert opinions here at IdealFit on how to make holiday fitness a thing!
Pro Tips For Staying Fit Over the Holidays
1. Plan Your Cheats
Coach Kaytlin, a certified strength and conditioning coach here at IdealFit, likes to save her cheat meals for parties or special events.
She says, “When you do cheat that day, make sure you’re eating healthy the rest of the day and only at the party/event is when you’re cheating!”
She also recommends NOT going to a party on an empty stomach.
Eat as you would normally throughout the day, that way when you get to the event you aren’t so hungry that you want to stuff your face with everything you see in sight.
2. Find Your “Why”
If you have read this post, you will know that Lindsey is all about enjoying the journey and loving the process.
She says, “If you don’t have a personal and compelling reason that’s driving you to reach your goals, then your results probably aren’t going to stick. But if you want it for you, don’t let anything or anyone stop you.”
When you have a reason for getting fit, and living a healthier life, falling into temptation won’t be as hard.
Sure, you will still crave the occasional treat, and there will be days where the last thing in the world you want to do is work out, but you will continue to do it because you are driven.
Because you want the results, you crave the endorphins, and you do it because you feel great afterward.
3. Moderation in all Things
When you do decide to cheat, you don’t need to think that gives you the green light to eat every starchy, sugary treat in sight.
You can go about it in a healthier way…in moderation. Stick to a certain calorie count, and instead of having a cheat day, go for a cheat meal instead.
Trainer Lindsey also recommends tracking your macros.
She says, “Learn to track your macros so that you can build in your treats into your carbs and fats for the day!” Yes, that means that you CAN have that slice of pizza, you just need to balance your macros for the rest of the day.
Check out this post on macros to learn more: Talk Macros to Me. What They Are and How to Count Them.
4. Drink a Lot of Water
Water helps you to feel more full.
Kaytlin recommends drinking water at the event/party/cheat so that you feel more full and so that you don’t eat as much.
Trainer Lindsey also recommends this.
“If you have a day where you’re going be around more food/snacks, plan on increasing your water intake. This will help your belly stay full so you’re not as tempted to mindlessly eat. Stay on top of your water, drinking it evenly throughout the day.”
5. Start Early
On days that are extra busy, it can be easy to skip your workout because you don’t feel like you have time.
Lindsey says, “If you know you’re going to have a busy day, get your workout in early in the morning before other commitments come up.”
Exercising in the morning is also a great way to start off your day.
Cedric X. Bryant, PhD, chief exercise physiologist of the American Council on Exercise says, “By doing the bulk of exercise first thing in the morning, you get your exercise in before other distractions can intrude. We can all relate to that — because once the day gets going, it’s hard to get off the treadmill called life.”
6. Work Out, Even on Days You’re Cheating
If you decide to cheat, you may then decide to forego all of your other “healthy plans” on that day, like exercising.
But, you can’t make a cheat meal an excuse to give in to every temptation you may have.
Exercise is so important, not only to help you maintain a healthy weight, but to help prevent some diseases, make you happier, and boost your energy.
Lindsey even suggests working out HARDER on days you’re cheating. “On days when you plan on cheating, plan your hardest workouts of the week on those days. Think legs and sprints!! They burn mega calories!”
My 15 Day Challenge is also a great option to help to motivate you to get into the gym and get in a good workout.
Plus, I provide meal plans, substitutions, grocery lists, and other tools to help you get the best results possible.
Check out my free 15 Day Fit Model Fitness Challenge.
7. Make Healthier Versions of Your Favorite Treats
Trainer Lindsey and Coach Kaytlin both recommend making modifications of your favorite treats.
Lindsey says, “Find healthy recipes/replicas of your favorite treats and take them to your parties!”
You will be able to satisfy the crowd and your sweet tooth, without sacrificing your fit bod.
(For some amazing healthy recipe ideas, try out our protein recipes eBook! There are 28 delicious recipes packed with protein to assist in building a lean and toned body.)
8. Enjoy Your Holidays
Coach Kaytlin also wants to remind us that it is okay to eat a treat or two.
She says, “Enjoy your holidays, and don’t beat yourself up over eating a little more.”
This time is filled with so much good food, constantly feeling like you are depriving yourself isn’t healthy either.
It is smart to find a healthy relationship with food. Don’t beat yourself up if you cheat occasionally. Enjoy this time!
Let’s Take it Home for the Holidays
It’s totally okay to enjoy yourself this time of year, I mean, I recommend it! But between the parties and the holidays, there is a lot going on – and that also means a lot of temptation.
But instead of giving in to every temptation, and always reaching for the comfort food, you can follow these tips to help you stay fit and happy over the holidays.
And then to make the most of your training, you should be supplying your body with the nutrients it needs to build lean muscle and recover effectively.
And that is why we recommend IdealLean Protein!
IdealLean Protein can help you build lean muscle and burn fat, so you can say hello to the fit body of your dreams.
Try it now!