The good food, fun celebrations and spending time with loved ones are the things that make the holidays so special, but they’re also the things that make sticking to a health and fitness routine challenging. And that’s why so many of us gain weight at that time of year. Research shows people gain an average of two pounds from Thanksgiving to New Year’s and while that doesn’t sound like a lot, many of us don’t lose that weight, so those holiday pounds add up over the years.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Personal trainer and weight loss coach Stephanie Mansour says the easiest way to enjoy all the festivities of the holiday season while maintaining your weight is to form healthy habits now, before the holidays are in full swing. These are the things that have helped her clients stay healthy without ruining the holiday cheer.
- Replace long workouts with quick HIITs – With a busy schedule, you’ll have lots of excuses to skip a workout, but a short one is better than no exercise at all. Find a quick 20-minute cardio or 15-minute strength training session that you can do when you’re strapped for time.
- Master three easy meals – It’s so easy to order delivery when you don’t have time to cook, but takeout isn’t good for the waistline. So come up with a few simple meals you can whip up in five minutes, like scrambled eggs and veggies, for those hectic days.
- Manage stress with yoga, meditation or breathing – When holiday stress hits, having these tools in your arsenal can help you relax and cope.
- Practice saying “no” – Want to avoid finding yourself at social events and holiday functions you’d rather skip? Being able to say “no” is hard for a lot of us, but coming up with your explanation to decline and practicing saying it can help. Something like, “Unfortunately, I’m maxed out. Hope you understand” should work.
- Set a daily water goal – Healthy habits get skipped when things get hectic, but don’t let staying hydrated be one of them. Set a daily water goal and practice hitting it now, and keep it up during the holidays.
- Establish a peaceful bedtime routine – It can help you wind down and sleep better, so you feel more energized the next morning. Think of it as self-care to de-stress and make it a priority.
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