How to Survive the Holidays

how to survive the holidays

Do you find yourself looking forward to the holidays every year, only to dread it as the date grows nearer?  Do you fear that all the hard work you put in to your health all year round will only come undone by fault of holiday cookies, delicious cakes, and sugary drinks?  If you answered yes, then you are not alone!  The holidays are a time to enjoy with friends, family, and of course with delicious food.  However, just like any other holiday surrounded by food and tradition, it is important to find a balance between healthy and indulgent choices.  Follow our tips below on how to survive the holidays and not suffer a setback in the New Year!

#1 Stick to Your Routine
Our first tip to surviving the holidays is stick to your exercise routine!  If you’re having a staycation (vacation at home), then there is no reason why you can’t continue to workout and follow your routine to help you stay on track.  If you’re traveling, most hotels are equipped with a gym and if not you can always work out in your hotel room!  Staying active will not only help keep you on track throughout the holidays but it will keep your body in balance and help offset any indulgent holiday treats.

#2 Give it Away
As a rule of thumb, if you can’t control yourself around certain foods, do not keep them in your home.  By doing so, you are only sabotaging yourself!  However, for many (like ourselves) the holidays are a time to bake and enjoy special treats.  If you find yourself with an excess of holiday cookies or treats this year, freeze a few for yourself and give the rest away!  Giving homemade treats away can also double as a delicious gift.  This is a great option for people who have a hard time keeping treats in their home without binging on them.

#3 Relax and Enjoy!
For some people, the holidays are a planned time of year to give the body a break, let go of all the scheduling, and relax.  For others, this time of year is extra crucial to stick with a routine in order to avoid a setback come New Years.  Whatever your plan of action is during the holidays, don’t forget to relax and enjoy yourself and your time with you family!

Strategies for Holiday Parties:

#1 Eat Beforehand
If you’ve been reading our articles, then you will remember this tip from our Halloween post.  The best strategy to not overeating at a holiday party is to eat a healthy meal beforehand.  This will ensure that you won’t arrive starving which in turn will lead to poor food choices.  We’ve all been in this situation before; it never ends well!

#2 Survey the Room
Before you grab a plate and begin to fill it, survey the room and see what kind of foods are being served.  This is a great approach for any holiday party where the food is plenty.  By surveying the food options, you will be able to see all of the choices, which will allow you to better plan your meal.  This will help you to stay on track and not overindulge.  Taking inventory of food will also allow you to identify a splurge item (or two) that you would like to enjoy.  As we’ve talked about in past posts, a “splurge” item refers to food or beverage that you don’t normally indulge in such as a cupcake or holiday drink.

#3 Grab a Small Plate
Another great way to be mindful of calories and overconsumption is to grab a small appetizer sized plate for your main meal.  This will help you stick to smaller potions, that is unless you fill it up multiple times!

Written by DeHenzel Training Systems
How to Survive the Holidays

Photo courtesy of: nelosa/

About DeHenzel Training Systems: DeHenzel Training Systems offers In Home Personal Training services throughout Northern Virginia and Washington DC.  Aside from in home, personal training is also available at the office gym or outdoors at a local park.

Within Northern Virginia, we service Loudoun, Fairfax and Prince William Counties including: Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Ashburn, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Fairfax, Falls Church, Great Falls, Herndon, Lansdowne, Leesburg, Lorton, McLean, Oakton, Reston, Springfield, Sterling, Tyson’s Corner, Vienna and Woodbridge.

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