Or it can be frenetic and crazy.
The holidays, of course, offer a healthy dose of the latter. As the saying by Benjamin Franklin goes, "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail."
We've prepared a simple no frills survival guide for the holiday "Off Season". We hope you and your love ones find it helpful for keeping you on track.
The Plate "Rule"
If your plate has a rim, use it as a portion guide. Pretend you are serving food at a restaurant. You wouldn't overflow the plate so that food is falling off the sides. The rim is a perfect guide and safety tool when looking at the appropriate portion size. Controlling the amount of food on the plate with the rim will also make it harder to pile it high. Just like a great structure such as a pyramid, if there is no base, you can only climb so high.
If your plate doesn't have a rim, use your hand as a guide. Grip your plate with your thumb on top and fingers on the bottom with the plate fitting between the groove created by your thumb and index finger. Move your thumb in as close to the center of the plate as you can. Make a mental note of how far in this is, and this will be your "rim". You can also just use 2 to 3 inches in from the edge of the plate as a guide.
Eat slowly and to “satisfied” instead of “stuffed”
It takes time for our brains to register that we are full. Furthermore, during the holidays we often eat with our eyes first as we gaze upon an endless array of delicious food which is prepared for this time of year. Add food to your plate deliberately using our first time, but eat slowly. Enjoy conversation with your family, friends and other loved ones. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. You'll feel full and satisfied while enjoying your wonderful holiday meals.
Plan Your Workouts Ahead of Time
Without a workout plan, it can become increasingly harder stick to your training program. One missed workout becomes two, and then three and then more. Soon you'll be off track and wondering how to get back into your routine.
Plan your workouts before the holidays. Include rest periods just as you normally would. If you foresee many interruptions, you may need to schedule your workouts during a time you normally wouldn't to ensure you get them in.
If you're traveling or attending work events, consider bodyweight exercises or other cross-training you can incorporate to stay active.
Food is Essential to Your Training
Fitting your workouts into your schedule and eating well during holiday get togethers is part of the plan for staying on track. Consistently eating a well balanced diet is essential all year long.
We recommend planning out your snacks ahead of time whether they be for work, traveling or anywhere in between. In a moment you find yourself hungry, you'll be happy to have a healthy snack which includes fruits, vegetables or nuts instead of relying on whatever you can find which are often calorie dense and unhealthy foods.
One and done
Let's be honest. Between Thanksgiving and Valentine's day, you're running the gauntlet of available treats. You'll be saying "no" A LOT, but in order to make that sustainable sometimes you'll end up saying "yes".
It's ok to reward yourself for your hard work and dedication to your health and fitness goals. It's ok to say yes, but we recommend the "one and done" rule. Take one of something you are offered and want to try, but don't say yes to more.
The holidays are a time for special foods and treats that we don't see throughout the rest of the year. Enjoy yourself, just not too much!
Get The Support Your Need, Tell Everyone
Success is hard. Success alone is even harder. Don't feel bad about telling people about your goals. You should feel proud for wanting to stick with your training while focusing on your health and fitness.
Sometimes when abstaining it can feel better to tell people why you are saying "no". You'll be surprised at the positive reactions and words of encouragement and even envy you get from people around you.
Telling friends and loved ones about your plans to stick with your training and health & fitness goals will make the holidays much easier on you and your diet!
Let's Do This!
Whether you're a newcomer or seasoned athlete we're all in this together. That's why we created our "Off Season" Challenge Group. Join a supportive group that will encourage you and help you to meet your training goals. JOIN HERE. It's FREE!
Check out our Limited Edition "Off Season" Challenge shirts below. Wear your commitment to health with pride!