We’ve all been there, we know we are going on vacation or that the holidays are coming up so we diet and get in shape so we look awesome in pictures. But then the holidays arrive and all self control goes out the window. Then we get back to our regular schedule and we realize, “I got a little chunky didn’t I”.
It’s ok, life happens and being filled with family obligations, traveling, eating out and enjoying life and good is all part of a nice happy healthy and balanced life. Even the most disciplined of us can find it difficult to stick to their health and fitness routines, but there are a few tips and tricks we can keep in mind to help with staying fit during the sessions of overindulgence
- Try to keep moving. In addition to staying active, try to avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time. Things like getting up every once in a while for a walk can help immensely, not only this but sitting too much can be hazardous to our health. If you’re travelling take this as the perfect opportunity to go out and walk around the city and explore.
- Be the one with a plan- and always hydrate. The times of vacation and holidays can be a real headache in terms of messing with your usual exercise intentions and schedules. Try to have some sort of plan for each day. Try to plan some sort of activity for the day that gets you moving, try to keep in mind what you are eating, even if you are eating high calorie foods at least you are aware of it and can control your portion sizes. Also remember to keep drinking water. Sometimes we can confuse being thirsty with being hungry, a large glass of water before, during and after a meal can make a huge difference in how full we can feel. Not to mention drinking water when eating lots of higher in salt foods can help with bloating
- Make lists, exercise early and get enough sleep. Making a list of what you need to do can help stay stress free and organized, not to mention it allows us to make time to get in a workout or exercise session. That being said, it may be a good idea to get exercise done first in the day so we don’t get distracted by other events. Getting tons of rest is also a good idea since we can’t eat when were asleep and not to mention we want to be well rested for our morning workouts!
- Expect the unexpected. While we should hope for the best, it’s best to be prepared for the worst. This can mean being ready with healthy meals, this can help us avoid eating unhealthy when there is no need to.
- Avoid the all or nothing mindset. Get creative with food and exercise when on vacation or the holidays. Just because we can’t get into the gym to lift some weight does not mean we can’t go out for a walk with the family or play with our younger family members. In addition to this, just because someone cooked our favourite unhealthy breakfast does not mean we have to eat unhealthy food all day long.
- Indulge for a night, not for the while on vacation. It’s easy to overindulge for the whole trip or vacation. We want to avoid allowing treats to become a part of our normal lifestyle. When the party’s over it’s time to be done with the leftovers and get back on track
- Enjoy the holiday, don’t worry about eating a little more on a single day, the reality is one day won’t make or break your fitness journey. The issues arise when people start patterns of eating unhealthy on a daily basis and letting treats take over a majority of their food. Enjoy the holiday but don’t let it go from one day of enjoyment, to a whole week, into a habit that goes well beyond the holiday
- Plan- and remember there’s always ways to work around obstacles. If we know there is going to be a big dinner on one night, we can adjust the rest of our day accordingly. We can simply skip breakfast, have a light lunch and just have a nice filling dinner instead. That being said, keeping your hunger in check is key to ensure you are not overconsuming in the next meal, having some health snacks can help tremendously with this. In addition to this, we can plan ahead and make time for a nice workout before dinner. Instead of skipping the gym, some exercise is always better than none, making time for a quick workout can be more beneficial than you think. It may not be the same as the usual workout but work up a sweat and we may feel a lot better psychologically, not as guilty, and physically.
- Get back on track- once the holidays end or the festive dinner is over, it’s important to get back to your usual routine. This may involve getting back into the gym the next day, going back to eating your usual meals, and just getting back into the usual routine.
These are just a few of the things that can be done over the holiday season that can help with self monitoring and keeping one accountable. There are of course tons of other scenarios that may cause one or more of these techniques to not be applicable, but it should help set and idea of what can be done. Try a few of the techniques and see what works, what does not and make adjustments to suit your own circumstances. If there are many holiday meals in a row, then just having a one meal indulgence wont work, instead perhaps try to make an effort to be more active between the meals or eat your own prepared meals beforehand to limit the amount of high calorie food you will consume at these events. Creativity and remembering what your goals are are important, but so is family, so make sure you enjoy the moment and spend time with loved ones, because at the end of the day, that’s what the holidays are about, the food is just a treat on the side and should not be the main focus.