It’s holiday time and you need a plan to stay on track. Here are four (4) keys to staying on track during the holidays. I’ve been in the lab and testing these tips. So far they have been working during this holiday season.
If you follow me on social media (if not consider it…you get updates faster and behind the scenes moments…really just click follow! Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest), you may have seen that I made it all the way through Halloween without a single piece of candy! It is a big thing for me since I normally eat my weight in Dots. At the same time, I joined a couple of groups focusing on clean eating and nutrition to survive the holidays without having to start over int he New Year. Needless to say, I’ve been focused on healthy eating through the holidays. Not only focus on food but also I’m doing the Runner’s World Holiday Run Streak. I started Thanksgiving Day. My streak of at least one mile a day is still alive. I’ve employed some of my tips to a Mile a Day!
In order to make it through this butter laden time of the year, I knew I needed a plan. My plan plus a few tips from my friends helped form tips for enjoying the Christmas holidays (or any food-centric holiday) and staying on track to always move forward!
Make a Plan
In reality, all of these tips fit under this one tip. You may be a person who needs the details on what to include in a plan. But do not skip over the general ‘Make a Plan’ advice. If you recognize you are making a plan, you will be more likely to follow through. After it is all said and done, I will take a quick look back to see how it went and what parts I want to apply moving forward. I’m a goal-oriented person and sometimes thinking of a plan as a goal makes me work it to reach the end.
Get Active: Do a Race or Fitness Class
Yup, I’m saying do a race or fitness class on the days of major indulgences. On Thanksgiving, I did a half marathon. For some, it is a choice between classes and others are thinking but I have to cook. Well, you can do both or be a one-dish guest for dinner. If you do a 5K, it would take about an hour or so to finish. Most races start around 7 am. If you look at the cooking times, you may just be able to squeeze in a few miles. Even if you don’t do a formal race or class, you can get in some miles in between turkey basting rounds.
Another option is to plan an #optoutside activity. If you haven’t heard of this movement, it is REI’s answer to Black Friday madness. Instead of leaving dinner to wait in line or shopping on the day after Thanksgiving, you go outside and do an activity. Think hiking, running, kayaking or just a touch football game. (Ok, so maybe try a hybrid approach. #optoutside for some miles or physical activity then shop.) Here’s the thing, having a physical activity planned the day after the indulgence of Thanksgiving will help keep you from having to feel like you need to start over in your journey. You can continue to #optoutside throughout the holidays. The fresh air will relieve the stress and keep you moving forward.
Meal Prep for the Week
Planning your meals is an important part of a journey to be healthy. Even more so not letting the holiday craziness change your meal habits. If you have easy and healthy items available, you are more likely to only have one day of indulgence rather than a week’s worth of them because you didn’t have anything available.
Meal prepping is the cornerstone of my plan. I make healthy foods that are tasty and EASY. With a week of not my traditional schedule, I know I will be grateful for my foresight. Also, it will remove the “why yes I will take the extra leftovers of [insert not healthy/in the meal plan item] since I don’t have food in my fridge” justification. Knowing that I have yummy food waiting for me at home goes a long way to passing up having the leftovers.
Manage your Leftovers
It seems like there are two schools of thought on how to deal with the leftovers: Take or Leave it
School of Thought 1: Take the leftovers and portion them out
If you are a person who will only eat the portioned serving of the leftover goodness, this strategy could work for you. Say, “yes!” to the offer of leftovers. Once you get home, measure or weight out individual portions and store. When you want some of the yummy dressing to go with your lunch, you grab a portion. Being prepared to portion it out and being true to the actual serving size (not the “Thanksgiving Day, I can eat whatever” portion size) will be the key to making it work. Also, you may have to ask what is really in the recipe and account for the ingredients.
However, if you tend to hear food call your name, fail to eat only one portion, or just don’t want to put in the work, school of thought 2 will be for you.
School of Thought 2: Leave it if it doesn’t fit into your REGULAR meal plan
I subscribe more to the hearing my name being called than to the willpower to resist. It helps if I just don’t keep certain things around for long periods of time. However, if you have yummy veggies or lean meat at your dinner, take those! Add them to your meal prep for the next week. Just say no thanks to all the other stuff!
I get it is easier said than done. But, here is a bonus tip: Ask for help from another leftover taker. Let someone know and ask them to take your portion. You could just tell them to not let you take the extra. Think of the times you have gone out and told your friends not to let you have that extra drink. Same thing! (Now if they would let you have the extra drink, don’t ask them for help. Pick someone else!) My person is my sister. She is better at the willpower plus she has roommates.
All of these tips are a starting place. Here’s the thing you should also keep in mind, eat the pie and enjoy the holidays. My tips are to keep holidays from having a lasting impact. In prior years you may have seen your journey fall off the rails around this time. It doesn’t have to! Having a plan will at minimum keep your journey in the forefront of your mind.
Let me know if any of these resonate with you. What is your strategy for Holidays? Are you surviving or is it time to make a plan for the remainders of the season?
Telling you to plan for the curve in the journey while enjoying the thrill of the bend,
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TJ Tells It | COPYRIGHT © 2017 · TJ Hadley