Let's just start by saying that I'm a sucker for a good get together. It doesn't matter if it's friends or family, large or small, or anything in between - if I'm invited, I'll show up! Not only that, but you bet your butt that I will be the first person at the snack table and the bar at said party. It's totally doable to celebrate and have some delicious snacks and cocktails, without derailing all your hard work on the fitness and nutrition front. Here are 5 of my tried and true ways for staying fit over the holidays, while still enjoying in some little indulgences along the way:
1.) Workout plan for the week. You hear about meal planning all the time, but what about workout planning? What works for me, keeps me motivated, and on track is printing a weekly calendar with the workouts that I'm going to do each day. This way I can check off the workouts that I complete and actively prepare for what I have coming up.
Here is an example of my weekly calendar (feel free to reach out if you're interested in a different format and I can help you create something that will better suit your workout planning!):
2.) Start each day with a protein shake. Protein keeps you fuller longer and if you're working out hard, you should be consuming roughly .5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. So for example, if you weigh 130lbs, you should try to get in about 65 grams of protein minimum. There are a lot of options for protein out there, but my family uses Orgain as it's plant based, dairy free, gluten free and best of all, all the flavors are delicious! (If you are interested in trying it out, use promo code Caffeine&Cardio10 at www.orgain.com for 30% off your first order).
3.) Bubbly is better! If you're going to a holiday party, by all means enjoy yourself and have a few drinks! Sparkling wine is my go to drink and only has about 90 calories per serving. A vodka soda, my other favorite, has about 95 calories - add in a splash of cranberry juice and some holiday garnish and you have a festive drink without all the calories. Just try to stay away from mixed drinks and cream based drinks as those average around 200-300 calories per drink!
4.) Have a healthy snack before you go out. 5 years ago, if I knew I was going to a holiday party where there would be a ton of food, I would basically try to starve myself throughout the day in order to make up for the extra calories that I knew I would be eating. That would always backfire on me as I would be dying of hunger and binge eat ALL THE FOOD. I've found that if I eat a healthy breakfast and lunch and then have a high protein snack (either a protein shake blended with almond milk and frozen fruit) or a protein bar and some raw veggies, about an hour before I have to leave to go out, I can control my snacking better and skip the appetizers.
5.) Don't get derailed. Take it one day at a time. There are 31 days in December, which equates to 93 meals. Say between family, friends, and work events, you have 8 holiday parties to attend over the month. Add in about 5 days of donuts for breakfast or lunches out. Thats 13 meals out of 93 - if you indulge, so be it, you still have 80 meals over the month of December to eat healthy! It's important to not throw the rest of the week (or month) out the window just because you had two helpings of pie or a couple extra drinks. Enjoy that indulgence, but get back to your workouts and eat healthy when you can. Just because you had a donut for breakfast doesn't mean the rest of the day is ruined - add on 10 more minutes of exercise to the day and move on.
It's easier then you think to stay in shape and keep your motivation during the holidays -use my suggestions above as guidelines and most importantly, stick with your workouts (and add a few extra minutes to them when you can). Not only will you burn extra calories, but you'll be happier and more confident too!