RD's Holiday Success Guide

The holiday season is a time of celebration with family and friends. Eating and drinking, watching movies or football can all work against your health and fitness goals, but this doesn’t have to be the case.

In 8 steps, RD wants to help you be successful during the holidays and ward off an extra notch on your belt. Follow these guidelines to maintain your fitness level from now through the rest of the year and set yourself up for big changes heading into the new year!


1) EAT SLOWLY AND STOP AT 80% FULL

Over eating means excess calories. Eat sensibly by eating slowly and stopping at 80% full. Your meal should take you between 15 and 20 minutes to eat. Stopping at 80% full means you should stop when you feel full, but saying to yourself, “I could probably eat a little more, but I won’t.”


2) EAT EVERY 2-4 HOURS

It’s easy to lose track of time during family gatherings. Next thing you know, it’s dinner and you haven’t eaten since breakfast. This will make you hungry as a wildebeest and lead to over eating. Our favorite tip for any holiday is make sure to eat breakfast and have 2 snacks (protein shakes are easiest). This fills 3 gaps in the day, forces you to plan your meals, and makes stopping at 80% full more likely to happen.


3) EXERCISE 3-4 DAYS A WEEK AND/OR MOVE DAILY

This time of year is chaotic. Family functions, work parties, and shopping eat up “you time.” Manage your time and make sure to move and/or exercise at least 3 to 4 times a week. Your workouts don’t have to last longer than an hour. Warm-up, pair an upper and lower body movement with a core move, do that circuit for 15 minutes and you’re done. Don’t over complicate. Get in and get out!


4) RECRUIT AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER

Having an accountabilibuddy is another great strategy for being successful during the holidays. It’s challenging to stay motivated 24/7. Employing a friend to do the heavy lifting with you helps keep both parties excited to stay on track.


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5) HAVE PROTEIN WITH EACH MEAL

Protein breaks down into amino acids which are the building blocks for muscle. In a holiday situation, protein also keeps you full longer, discouraging over eating. Even if it’s “just” a protein shake, working in protein to every meal sets you up to maintain or build lean muscle during the holidays. 


6) Drink Water

Why? Hydration is massively important for the health of your cells. With a lot of holiday festivities, alcohol and sugary drinks are always at an arms reach, leading to dehydration. Actively trying to drink more water will help stay closer to an optimal state of hydration.


7) RESISTANCE TRAINING OVER CARDIO

Cardio has been shown to burn slightly more calories during a workout compared to lifting, however, resistance training (lifting) takes the cake in terms of metabolic effect. Lifting weights increases your metabolism for up to 24 hours after your workout. Cardio’s effects end once you hop off the treadmill. Prioritize “lifting,” and combine an upper body, lower body and core move to get maximum results.


8) Sleep

Even though you may be on vacation, it’s easy to actually lose sleep when you’re out of your routine. Loss of sleep can lead to insulin resistance, a condition where your body has trouble regulating it's blood sugar level. Sleep helps the body produce the hormones that balance your sugar. Sleep is also important for cognitive function. Plan to get at least 6-8+ hours per night. (Source: 1


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If you've fallen short on your health and fitness goals in 2016, try something different!

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