Are you worried that the holidays will ruin your diet—or worse, that your diet will ruin the holidays? This season brings lots of quality time with family and friends, wild holiday parties and plenty of thoughtful gifts, but let’s be real, the food is the best part. But is the stress of overindulging worth it?
Take a look at these tips if you want to enjoy everything the holidays have to offer without the added guilt.
Recruit a Workout Buddy
Sticking to a workout plan is hard anytime of year. Finding someone to workout with on a regular basis will help keep you accountable during the busy holiday season. If you don’t feel like waking up early and heading to the gym, the guilt of ditching your friend will be reason enough to show up anyway.
If you can’t find a buddy, sign up for a weekly class—preferably one that costs some money. The threat of wasting money should be motivation enough to get your ass in gear once a week. Whether the gym is on your daily to-do list or not, a weekly class will add some structure to your routine. It’s a great way to improve an aspect of your fitness that you may not be spending enough time on (cough yoga cough). Or, if you’re not a regular gym-goer in the first place, it’s a great way to get started!
Don’t Deprive Yourself
Don’t spoil a holiday party by trying to avoid the feast. It’s not worth the stress. Eat the food you want to eat, and stop when you’re full. Don’t feel obligated to fill your stomach with Aunt Joan’s famous fruitcake if you hate fruitcake.
But don’t let a holiday seep into the following days and turn into a holi-week. Your body can bounce back from a single day of indulgence. An entire week will be a bit more difficult. It’s important to jump right back on track after the party ends.
Tupp It Up
If you’re hosting a party, send your guests home with Tupperware containers full of leftovers. It’s virtually impossible to refuse leftovers when they’re the only things in your fridge. Eliminate the temptation altogether!
It’s not nearly as difficult or expensive as you may think. Choose a few easy recipes and prep a week’s worth of chicken, veggies, and snacks on Sunday. Having protein powder on-hand is a great way to combat hunger during the week to avoid losing sight of your goals. Sticking to a clean diet during the week will kill any guilt you might have about those extra hors d’oeuvres at the office holiday party.
Hit the Gym More Often
If you’re going to indulge every now and then, head to the gym and put those extra carbs to use. Lift heavy weights and give interval training a try. Doing intense periods of work with short recovery segments is a great way to burn fat fast. Just don’t use the extra workouts as an excuse to completely quit on your diet!
Find a sturdy reusable water bottle, keep it filled, and bring it everywhere. Drinking enough water is a key part of staying fit and healthy, especially when the rest of your diet isn’t exactly pristine. Replace sugary drinks with tea or seltzer and alternate between booze and glasses of water at parties.
Doesn’t sound too hard, right? Stay the course and enjoy the holidays! Head into 2018 without feeling sluggish, guilty or weighed down—it could impact your outlook for the rest of the year.