Dover Personal Trainer gives tips for surviving the holidays

November marks the beginning of the Holiday season, that wonderful time of the year full of parties, feasts, treats, and family time. For a lot of us, November also marks the time of the year when our fitness drive starts to fail, and before we know it New Year’s Eve is here and we’ve realized just how much we’ve jumped off the wagon.

Staying healthy during the holidays may seem impossible: there’s too much desert, and both Thanksgiving and Christmas seem to revolve around eating. Between making sure the food gets cooked and all the in-laws are satisfied, health gets put on the backburner, which can undo all the hard work you’ve done over the summer.

However much is may seem like these holidays are aimed at setting you up for failure, I have some tips and tricks to help you stay on track and still enjoy yourself.

  1. Squeeze in that exercise

Exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym for two hours the morning of Thanksgiving when you’re supposed to be cooking. It could be something as simple as creating some family bonding time by playing a game of capture the flag, or going sledding after Christmas dinner. Even twenty minutes of cardio in your living room is better than sitting around all day with nothing to do except eat.

  1. Hydrate

Thirst is often mistaken for hunger, and during the holidays it’s easy to skip out on drinking water for more flavorful options like sugary cocktails and soda, both of which will dehydrate you. Instead of just going for the eggnog or the wine, try matching each beverage you drink with a glass of water. Not only will this make you feel better throughout the festivities, but it will help keep you from continuously snacking.

  1. Don’t skip breakfast

An unspoken rule of most holidays that involve food is that you must skip breakfast so you’ll be hungry when it’s time to dig in. Though it may seem like a good idea, this will set you up for overeating once meal time rolls around. Eating a filling breakfast will help you exercise control for the rest of the day because you won’t feel that gnawing hunger from an empty stomach.

  1. Moderation is key

It’s only human to want to indulge in some of your holiday favorites – like all the delicious sides at Thanksgiving, and cookies at Christmas – but indulging doesn’t have to mean overeating. Pace yourself while you eat and save room for dessert; don’t stuff yourself with turkey and stuffing and feel obligated to partake in dessert. If you eat less at dinner, you can still have some dessert without feeling like you’re about to explode.

  1. Find healthy alternatives

Between Pinterest and the thousands of health food books circling the internet, finding healthy alternatives to holiday staples is easier than ever. All it takes is a quick Google search! Now, I know what you’re thinking – that you can’t change the traditional meal, it just wouldn’t be right! But the truth is that if you’re trying to be serious about your health that means giving a little when it comes to your eating habits. Healthy food doesn’t have to mean cutting corners. Nine times out of ten healthy alternatives taste just as good as the originals, but they leave you feeling better both physically and mentally.

  1. Don’t beat yourself up

Holidays are meant to be fun and full of family, laughter, and love. So even if you do overeat or don’t make the healthiest of choices, don’t think that it has erased all the hard work you have done in reaching your health goals. It’s easy to give up once you’ve had one bad eating day and feel like there’s no point in getting back on the horse if another holiday is only a few weeks away. Have a good time during the holidays, make healthy choices as much as you can, and when they’re over continue to work hard and don’t wait until the New Year to start over on your Resolution.


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