5 Tips to Maintaining Your Fitness Goals This Holiday Season

This is a guest post by Alexis Payne a Connecticut-based personal trainer. Check out her personal training offerings by visiting Commence Fitness online.

You might think that the holiday season is the absolute worst time to work towards losing or maintaining your weight, but you are wrong. Like all long-term goals or major lifestyle changes, your mindset is either going to make or break you. During the holiday season, your best arsenal against backsliding or goal abandonment is to focus on what you can control, not what you can’t.

In this article, I will give you 5 practical tips you can use to feel great during this holiday season.

Remember, the holidays don’t have to be a time where your goals fall to the wayside. Instead, they can be a time where you create space for a slightly different and festive approach to your fitness and weight loss goals.

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1.Create a “Holiday Game Plan”.

Your “planner” doesn’t have to be paper like this one, using more modern digital options are perfect to.
Do what you know will work for you!
Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

The COVID-19 pandemic probably shook up your Thanksgiving plans and will do the same for your December and January holidays too. I’ve learned that when life starts to feel hectic, the best thing I can do is spend a few hours during my Sunday evening planning out my week. I invite you to do it too. By time-blocking (scheduling priorities in advanced) you are more likely to follow through with them even when you are stressed. Block out time for your workout, meal times, personal time and the different chores and tasks you need to accomplish. Having a plan sets you up for success and will give you the “juice” you need to follow through on your goals. To learn more about time-blocking, check out this article at VeryWellMind.com.

2. Decadent Meals? Just Pick One.

The holidays are all about abundance. You’ll feel better about your weight goals when you intentionally choosing when to eat a high-calorie meal.
Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

This year’s calendar might look a bit different in terms of holiday parties, happy hours and gatherings. However, as your family and friends get creative with orchestrating gatherings, it’s important to have a plan. As a personal trainer, I recommend that you stop and think intentionally about your meals each week. It can be really easy to say “Eh, it’s just this one time” or “Whatever. It’s the holidays” but the truth is, those little things add up in a big way. Not only will this methodology save your waistline a bit, it will also make that meal a bit more special. Think about it. By creating a plan for your holiday treats they will become more special AND you will limit your feelings of guilt and shame around eating your holiday favorites.

3. Create a “Treat-Free” Home.

Make it easy on yourself, and banish the goodies from your pantry!
Why invite the devil to your home?
Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

This atypical holiday season might tempt you into “bringing the party home” by stocking your house up with all your favorite treats and meals. Try to avoid bringing in items that you know you’ll gravitate to every time you walk into the kitchen or stress-eat when you’re trying to find a gift online for your nephew. If you have to have a treat, don’t hesitate to find it in a “single-serving” option or to give away the rest to a grateful friend. This one might seem a bit self explanatory but, if you lack the self control to keep things in the house and not eat them, do yourself a favor and do not bring them in

4. Say “Yes” to Saying “No”.

Toddlers do it all the time. Take a page out of their book and set clear boundaries for your holiday season. It will feel weird at first, but then liberating!
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

During the holiday season, it can be easy to get caught up in doing “the right thing”. However, sometimes the right thing is whatever makes you the least stressed and happy. Remember, holiday gatherings this year should follow social-distancing guidelines. If you aren’t feeling the get-togethers, tell them you’ll have to pass this time or offer to Zoom in. If you truly don’t want to take home the extra coffee cake, extend your thanks and tell them you don’t want it in the house. If you don’t feel like drinking, say it out loud and stick to your guts. Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean that you have to please everyone for the sake of their happiness. Take the time to prioritize you. You don’t have to make anyone else happy (well, maybe your immediate family…) but, you do have to work on you. Need more arsenal? Sharon Martin at PsychCentral can give you tips to saying the big N-O.

5. Defeat SAD with Sweat.

Exercise can be made fun by centering it around holiday traditions.
Whatever you do, get some sun, the vitamin D will help fight SAD.
Photo by Any Lane on Pexels.com

Exercise is good any time of the year but it can be especially helpful during the winter months. In the winter when darkness comes in the middle of the afternoon, it’s easy to get SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder that is) and overwhelmed to a point where exercise becomes the last thing you want to do. Exercise is not just good for your weight and heart but also for stress relief. Make sure to keep up with a resistance training routine and cardio to keep your body and mind healthy. Aim for 3-4 days per week of exercise and make sure to get some steps in throughout your day to get your heart pumping and your body moving. 

Do you like what you are reading? Want to read more positive ways to improve your days? Subscribe or Follow my blog! You won’t regret it!

I hope you enjoyed these 5 tips! Tis the season for self-love, compassion and flexibility. If you do any of these 5 tips during the holidays, congratulate yourself for trying something new is often the first step towards permanent change.

Alexis Payne is a personal training studio owner and personal trainer/nutritionist in Southington, CT and online. She focuses on helping people create and maintain a healthy relationship around food and exercise by helping them reach their goals through fitness and nutrition that focuses on moderation, not deprivation. In her free time, Alexis enjoys hiking with her husband, Jeff, and pet-children, Maisie and Major, cooking and exploring new places.

You can find Alexis at www.instagram.com/thesortahealthycouple

www.sortahealthylifestyle.com and www.commencefitness.com

Published by AnnaHopeCoaching

Your Baltimore-based Life Coach helping you become the best you can be.

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