Plates and serving dishes brimming to the edges with food. Way too many drinks – more nights than one. Vacation from the daily grind, including, for many, working out. The holiday season is without a doubt a time for fun and indulgence. Whether you were hosting or simply attending, getting back into the swing of a healthy lifestyle and losing the pudge that may have crept on during the celebrations can create dismay for anyone. Being constantly surrounded by so much extra (albeit tasty) food, even the most dedicated can find themselves giving up on a semblance of a healthy lifestyle. Don’t despair! Losing the holiday weight and either returning to pre-holiday condition or jumpstarting a new healthy path isn’t hopeless.
Start by being honest with yourself. Where are you now and where do you want to get? Your end goal is losing that 10 lbs you gained? You want to start cooking with less salt? You need to cleanse after all that specialty food? Be realistic in setting your timeline, then break down your big goal into several mini, weekly goals. This enables you to tackle smaller, more easily attainable goals and increases the likelihood that you will stick to it and see yourself through.
Once you have your goals, it is important to set yourself up for success. Abuela’s food might be more delicious than anything else you eat but don’t feel compelled to bring enough leftovers home that you aren’t going to need to cook for the next month. Use moderation when eating what you do take and pair it with lots of produce.
Getting back to – or beginning – a regular exercise plan is crucial. Cardio-wise, don’t feel compelled to automatically sign up for the gym if that isn’t going to compel you to work out. Are you someone who wants calm? Give yoga a try. Can’t stop your body from moving if you hear a good beat? Go for Zumba or some other dance class. Get bored easily? Bootcamps or other classes that constantly switch it up might be the best bet. The key is tapping in to what you actually like, so sticking with physical activity is actually enjoyable. Incorporating strength training to your cardio is also key. Building muscles helps torch extra calories even when you aren’t working out.
Finally, be smart with liquids. Soda, alcohol and many juices are chocked full of sugars and calories that can truly be destructive to achieving your goals. If you are going to imbibe in alcohol, use clear ones with clear mixers – like seltzer. Begin adding more water, more often as well. You may begin to find that some of the moments you are “hungry,” you are actually just thirsty and will be satisfied with the water. It will also help flush out your system and keep you feel full. By using these tips, you will not only be able to get back to pre-holiday shape, you will also find more success in the year to come.