Staying Fit During the Holidays
‘Tis the season! If you’re anything like me, as soon as the Christmas decorations start popping up around town, and Black Friday ads start creeping into your inbox, it’s impossible to focus on anything other than the holidays. And why would you want to? The most glorious, decadent, calorie-packed food (bring on the stuffing, pumpkin pie and eggnog!) is reserved for these final two months of the year. It’s understandable. It’s been hard enough to stay motivated with fitness goals in this unprecedented year, but just because it’s the holiday season and culinary temptations are everywhere, it doesn’t mean your health has to suffer.
Make a Plan
Planning ahead for the season can make all the difference when it comes to staying on track and still enjoying yourself during the holidays. Despite COVID-19, the majority of us will be traveling to some extent this Christmas, and travel can often have challenges of its own when it comes to exercise. If you are staying with relatives, check for nearby parks, walking trails or nearby gyms. If you’re staying at a hotel, make sure they have a fitness center, or come prepared with your own routine. Crunches, planks, yoga and the use of resistance bands can all easily be done in a hotel room or guest bedroom at a relative’s house.
I’m not going to be the bearer or bad news and say that you need to completely steer clear of every sweet or savory treat on the holiday menu. Times of celebration warrant indulging in foods you normally don’t include in your diet. However, the average holiday dinner (complete with hors d’oeuvres, dessert and libations) brings in a whopping 4,000 calories on average! Opt for white turkey meat, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts and even pumpkin pie. All are healthier options, lower in both calories and fat. For the more caloric options (stuffing, casseroles and desserts), try to cut portions in half, filling the rest of your plate with lean protein, seasonal vegetables and crudité.