The holiday season is one hand-traced finger feathered turkey away from being in full swing and we would be remiss not to acknowledge that while a joyous time — the holidays can be stressful, y’all. Kids are out of school, family is in town or we’re heading out of it, holiday treats and libations are around every corner, and there’s this weird cultural pressure to constantly indulge because “it’s the holidays!”
What if on January 1st you could look back at the previous 6 weeks feeling that you fully celebrated the season, loved those around you well and intentionally cared for yourself in the midst of the holiday craziness? It’s not too good to be true. Here are 7 tips to help you not just get through, but totally slay the holiday season ahead!
Have a workout plan (or don’t!).
Our bodies go through the ringer during the holiday season — especially if long-distance travel is thrown into the mix. If you’re the type of person that just feels better when you move — make a plan! Take a few minutes before the hullabaloo begins and map out some days where you can get your body moving.
Maybe a long walk around the ‘hood with your pups and your pops, or find a nearby gym with a free trial, or maybe scope some options to drop in to a local CrossFit gym for some community-away-from-community. Or, if your body needs it, just plan to take the week off. But being intentional about it will help squelch any feelings of guilt or FOMO and help you fully enjoy the seasons!
Pack those snacks.
Trying to stay on track with your fitness and nutrition goals while traveling can feel like such an impossible task — airport food doesn’t exactly lend itself to be the most nutritious. So make one extra trip to the store before you take off and stock up on your favorite nutrient-dense snacks! TSA can take our water bottles, but they can never take our meat sticks.
Need snack hacks and ideas? Check out this graphic from Precision Nutrition and never be afraid of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season again!
Give yourself a hand (and a break).
Let’s be honest here, tracking macros and counting calories are two fast ways to make your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners a bit miserable. We hate to break it to you — but there’s no way you’re going to be able to account for all the butter Aunt Jane uses in her famous mashed potatoes — so why stress? Instead, try the “hand measurement” method when figuring how much of what should be on your plate. Once again, Precision Nutrition is going to help us out with this one. Check out their handy portion control guide. Two thumbs way up.
Keep your head in the game.
Similarly, we encourage you to be mindful while you munch. If you know yourself, and know you have a tendency to overeat and you go to sleep miserable — pair the hand portion trick with a gut check. As you go in for seconds, ask yourself: “am I actually still hungry, or am I just feeding a craving?”
And if you think you’re still hungry, would you go in for seconds for, say, baked salmon and kale? Allowing our brains to catch up to our stomachs helps us build better eating habits and food associations for life!
Contribute a healthy dish.
If you’re walking into a holiday potluck or heading to your in-law’s house for Christmas dinner, and you find yourself leery to eat some of those Crockpot creations — contribute a healthy dish! A big colorful chopped-salad. A festive mocktail. Or maybe even some carrot fries with bacon and rosemary?! The only way to solve your problem is to be the solution!
Have someone in your corner.
And finally, find a freaking friend. If you’re truly nervous about steering too far off track, keep in touch with someone who knows your goals and can help encourage you from afar (or have them come over and enjoy the festivities with you!). You don’t have to go into it on your own, and you certainly don’t have to be miserable.
Now go celebrate this good season with great food and fun times. Happy holidays!