It happens every year. The weather starts getting cooler and the days are darker longer signaling the holidays are right around the corner.  Sweatpants start calling your name just like those sweet treats and comfort foods.  Swimsuit days are long gone so we tell ourselves it’s ok to embrace hibernation mode (at least until New Years).  I would be lying if I said I don’t lose some motivation during the holidays, but I’ve made it a personal goal to treat this time of year like any other.  A lot of things can be accomplished during the holiday months and if nothing else, we can at least maintain the progress we’ve made.  Here are my top 5 tips on how to stay on track.

Stick to your routine

Keeping your workout schedule and eating habits consistent is key.  Even if you overindulge now and again, having that routine in place will keep you accountable.  Plus when you do decide to kick it up a notch at the beginning of the year, it will be that much easier to get back on track since you already have an established routine.

Meal Prep

Time is precious, especially during the holiday season.  Take some extra time to prepare healthy meals in advance.  If meal planning isn’t your thing, maybe try to prep your proteins in advance and throw some sides together that take less cook time.  Crockpot meals are another time saver.  Start it in the morning before work and you’ll have homemade comfort food by the time you get home.  By having accessible and healthy meals at home, you can keep those calories in check and save some extra cash for those Christmas gifts too.

Workout Smarter

Maybe you don’t have an hour to get a decent workout in during this busy season but that doesn’t mean you should completely skip it.  If you only have 20 minutes to workout, try to crank up the calorie burn with high intensity interval training, more commonly known as HIIT.  With this style of training, you alternate between harder exercises and recovery so you can get the most bang for your buck with limited time.  No motivation?  Try a group class!  Most of our classes at Body Language last between 30 minutes to an hour and you can get in, get out, and on with your day.  Being with a group can help spark your motivation and the best part is you don’t have to worry about coming up with a routine just let the instructors do the work for you.

Have a Game Plan for Parties and Get-togethers

Work and family parties abound during the holidays and so do the treats.  If you know you’re not going to be able to turn down mom’s homemade pumpkin pie, try to decide in advance what treats are really worth it to you.  If you want to have an adult beverage, maybe forego dessert.  Don’t feel the need to mindlessly graze on things you don’t really enjoy because that’s when the calories really add up.  Big party in the evening?  Try to plan a harder workout that morning.  You may not be able to out-work all the food and drinks, but it will still help balance out some of the indulgences.

Be Flexible!

The holidays are a wonderful time to enjoy your family, friends, and food.  Yes I did say food too! Don’t beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon, just try and plan accordingly for the next time.  By implementing some of these tips you can keep the healthy habits you’ve worked so hard to create this year.  So enjoy the pie but don’t forget the cardio!

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