Holiday Survival Guide
“I’m going to be good this year.”
We tell ourselves this every year during the holiday season. I’m not talking about where you stand on the naughty or nice list. I’m referring to your ability to keep the holiday “fluff” off.
Studies have been inconsistent, but research shows that holiday weight gain is in fact real. Numbers range from 1lb to 10lbs, and on average it takes people 3-5 months to get back to where they started.
How can we ensure that this year is different?
We must be proactive, and we must be prepared. I’m going to help you all put together a plan of action. It’s going to be your job to execute.
We are exactly 8 weeks away from January 1st, 2020. That gives us 56 chances to execute our plan of attack.
Instead of giving you a long list of suggested tips, I wanted to make this a bit easier to tackle. Over the course of the next 8 weeks I’m going to give you 8 different weekly challenges.
Every week from now until the new year, you’ll have a different task to accomplish everyday. By “chunking down” these tasks, you’ll be far more likely to succeed. Instead of worrying about all the things you should be doing to stay fit, you just need to focus on one thing.
– Week 1, November 6th-November 12th: Prep all your snacks. Halloween is in our rearview and its time set the tone for the next two months. Get the leftover candy out of the house or at least out of sight. This week your challenge is to prep all of your snacks. Choose a few healthy snacks to keep you on track in between meals. When it comes to snacks, the more convenient the better. We’re far more likely to grab a bag of chips over cutting up vegetables because of the convenience factor. Prep and package all of your snacks so you can just grab and go. Examples: Carrots and almond butter, hard boiled eggs, nuts: cashews/almonds/macadamia nuts, plain greek yogurt with real fruit, etc.
– Week 2, November 13th-November 19th: Move 45 min a day. Get up and move! Shorter days and colder temps are willpower killers. Do something everyday for at least 45 minutes. It can be a gym workout, hiking, yoga, a long walk, workout around the house, etc. Set a timer and get to work.
– Week 3, November 20th-November 26th: Prep all your lunches. Meal prepping takes some time upfront but pays off big time. Take the guesswork out of your nutrition by preparing a healthy meal in bulk and portioning out 7 individual servings that you can heat up each day. The more meals we can prep, the better our chances to execute.
– Week 4, November 27th-December 3rd: Eat five different vegetables everyday. This will be the hardest one for a lot of people. Over the course of a day, consume 5 different vegetables. Getting a wide variety of vegetables provides you with a variety of nutrients and antioxidants you body needs. Example: Breakfast: Eggs with spinach and tomatoes. Lunch: Grilled chicken with quinoa and roasted brussel sprouts. Dinner: Steak with sauteed mushrooms, sweet potato, and asparagus.
– Week 5, December 4th-December 10th: No screens one hour before bed. As stress increases during the holiday season, it tends to take a toll on our sleep. This week’s challenge is to eliminate screens at least one hour before bed. Exposure to blue light from your cell phone, computer, or TV can limit the amount of deep REM sleep you get.
– Week 6, December 11th-December 17th: Prep all your breakfasts. Don’t have time to put together a healthy breakfast in the morning? Cook or prep your breakfasts beforehand. My go-tos are overnight oats: ½ cup old fashioned oats with 1 scoop of protein power, almond butter, and a banana with almond milk. Mix the ingredients the night before and leave in fridge overnight. Egg Bake: Eggs, mushrooms, spinach, onions, and peppers. Mix ingredients together and bake. Cut off a piece every morning and reheat.
– Week 7, December 18th-December 24th: Schedule your workouts. We’re one week out from Christmas. We have a million things going on. Getting to the gym seems almost impossible. Schedule your workouts and stick to the plan. It could be a large group or small group class at the gym or an in-home workout, just get it on your schedule. Your workout is non-negotiable this week. Prioritize you workout, and build the rest of your day around your training time.
– Week 8, December 25th-December 31st. Move for 45min a day. This one’s a repeat because it’s that important. This week really throws us off our routine. From our sleep and wake times to when or what we’re eating, nothing is normal this week. When it comes to fitness, we are creatures of habit. If we fall off course this week, it may take us another week or two just to get back on track. Do something active for at least 45 min everyday this week. You’ll roll into the new year without skipping a beat.
Notice none of these tips mentioned anything about avoiding cookies, cakes, turkeys, or wine. These are some of the best parts of the holiday season! You don’t need to abstain from all the fun to keep the scale from moving. You just need a plan of attack. There’s no sense in beating yourself up from spending time with your family and sharing all the joys that come with the holiday season.
I’m going to be following this plan right along side of you guys this year! If you have any questions, please let me know.