Christmas can be a challenging time of year with an abundance of high-calorie food, lots of social events and many time-honored traditions that revolve around eating. It can make sustaining momentum with your weight management and fitness goals difficult.
Our success can be drawn back to the level of commitment to the little things, and in this article we outline 5 easy to follow hacks that will enable you to stay on track.
Keep your Routine.
You do not rise to the level of your goals. You rise to the levels of your systems. One of the main causes associated with stress and weight gain is a reduction in structure. When daily routines no longer exist we feel out of place. Setting aside 30-minutes at the end of each day to plan the next provides structure to your agenda and keeps you focused on your goals. Having this routine will help you stay on track with your diet, prioritise your sleep, and provide a framework so you can make decisions based on your priorities.
Test a New Year Resolution.
We are all guilty of making a new year’s resolution and then only sticking to it for a month, a week, or 2 days. A great way to get ahead is start our new year’s resolutions early - and see if we can stick to it during a challenging period. This will help you stay on track during the holidays, create healthy habits before the new year hits and test your discipline during a period of high motivation to succeed. Whether your resolution is to drink less, workout more, or eat better, its never too early to kick start good habits.
Some people are ‘grazers’, whether through skipping meals, boredom, or nibbling whilst preparing the evening meal. The trouble with grazing is that it isn’t physically or psychologically satisfying. It’s often mindless and small bits of food here and there that don’t satiate us, causing us to look for more food.
Don’t kid yourself each time you pop food into your mouth that ‘it’s only a mouthful’- those nibbles add up and will have a huge impact on how you look, feel and perform over the holidays. Be wary of forgetting what you’ve eaten too- this can be easy to do if you have a tendency to graze.
Avoid Quick Fixes.
Weight loss programs are trendy after Christmas, and only give people an excuse to overindulge because they'll plan to 'get back in shape' in the new year. This constant transition between restrictive eating (dieting) and overeating leads to a very unhealthy relationship with food. In fact, it reinforces the belief that we can't control our eating and body composition unless we're on a diet.... and we know that not to be true.
There is no finish line. There is no race. The goal is not to see how much and how fast you can lose weight, so don't plan to be reckless over the holidays and make up with a 'quick fix' in the new year. What we need to do is be flexible and mindful with what we're eating, and not being either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ with eating. It's OK to enjoy food at this time of year and tuck into some cheesecake after dinner, but we must adopt a 'maintain not gain' approach instead of a 'feast then famine' approach. Mindful eating can help us to fully enjoy food whilst staying in charge of it.
Your weekly level of physical activity has a significant impact on how you feel, perform and manage your weight. Increasing your physical activity level will also make you less likely to make poor food choices as it keeps you focused on your training goals. This doesn't mean you don't have rest days - they're essential for progress and growth, but incorporating HIIT workouts into your holiday schedule is the best approach to burning fat, maintaining your fitness, and feeling great! We have a huge class schedule at Chalk [view schedule] and our team have designed lots of FUN, varied workouts and to ensure going to the gym is an easy choice over the holidays!
If all else fails... remember the basics. Health shouldn’t be complicated. Drink lots of water, get 8 hours of sleep every night, eat your fruits & veggies, and move every day. Here’s to a healthy, happy and life-affirming holiday season!