Staying on Track for the Holidays

I’m here to tell you two things. One, I am FREAKING excited for this holiday season. And two, I plan on enjoying every single minute of it and still putting my health first. Surprise – it’s doable.

Tip No. 1 Enjoy the Holidays

Honestly, this is the most important piece of advice I can give you. DO NOT STRESS. Regardless of your fitness and health goals, you can still and should enjoy the holiday season. It’s okay to indulge on sweets and drink boozy sangria. It’s okay to make memories with your loved ones and experience festive treats and holiday staples. It’s OK.

Instead of beating yourself up on Thanksgiving or Christmas morning, take a step back and just enjoy yourself. I am a firm believer that the added stress of “staying on track” can actually hinder your progress and mental health – so stop. This is your reminder that a few meals or treats and a few days away from the gym won’t rewind all of your hard work. It’s possible to reach your goals while still living your best life over holiday break.

Tip No. 2 Find Balance that Works For YOU

If you’re going to indulge and enjoy, you should also probably master the art of balance. You already know that eating cookies, macaroni & cheese and all of the holiday eats every single day for the next two months won’t end well. Not only is it not good for your insides but there’s a good chance that overindulging could lead to a change in the healthy habits you’ve been working so hard to build up and/or start in the new year.

Balance looks different for everyone but I’ve found that a few of the following tips help me maintain some level of balance while still enjoying my favorite holiday treats without guilt or a backslide progress wise.

  • Watch your portions. It’s extremely easy to consume thousands of calories in one sitting, especially with holiday foods and treats. The average person consumes over 3,000 calories at Thanksgiving dinner alone. That’s almost double the daily amount for most in a weight loss phase. And that’s just one meal. Rather than omitting your favorite foods, balance your portions. Try smaller sizes of the mac n cheese and sweet potato souffle. Fill up first on the turkey, ham and veggies and then dive into the smaller portions you’ve set for the yummy carbs. Rather than having a piece of every type of pie – try one and save a piece for leftovers the next day. It’s all about moderation, my friends.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking water throughout the day is not only great in general but it’s also a great way to balance some of the heavier foods by reducing bloat caused by those salty treats. Staying hydrated can also help with false hunger pains. And when it comes to alcohol, try to drink one glass of water in between each cocktail!
  • Track without “tracking”. If you know that you’re going to be indulging at Thanksgiving dinner or at a Christmas party, try to make your other meals that day more nutrient-dense. You can plan around the heavier meals and ensure you’re still getting in the nutrients to fuel your goals. For example, you’re heading to a holiday office party tonight. For breakfast, opt for 1 cup of berries, 2 slices of bacon and some egg whites with spinach, tomatoes and cheese. Lunch might be a veggie-heavy salad with grilled shrimp or chicken. Then, come dinner/pary time, you’ll have a little more wiggle room with a few glasses of wine, cookies, meatballs, etc.

Tip No. 3 Get Moving

I know – who wants to go to the gym the day after sipping eggnog all night long? Not me! I feel like doing some sort of physical activity is wayyyy easier than sticking to a balanced diet come holiday season. Try to get in at least five days of movement each week. Whether that means taking a family walk after Thanksgiving dinner or getting in a quick 24 minute HIIT workout before opening presents – get your body moving. Not only is it good for your overall health but as you consume more calories over the next few weeks, increasing your calories out could do your body good, regardless of your goals.

If you’re looking for some good workouts you can do from home or on the road while traveling this season, check out The Fit Guide Vol. 2! You can also get 10 new HIIT workouts you can do with the family with The Fit Guide Vol. 5.

  • 5 workouts you can do from the hotel gym or your airbnb including two great cardio workouts, a hotel-room approved ab workout and two dumbbell only circuits.
  • Tips for staying on track while traveling
  • An easy to follow guide for ordering out at restaurants while traveling
  • My favorite travel snacks and airpot eats including samples orders
  • Exclusive access to the #laurenelycefit Facebook group (hello community and accountability!)
  • A visual video library walking you through each routine, suggested reps, and sets
  • Intro to interval training – why it’s important and the benefits of interval training compared to other forms of cardio
  • 10 individual HIIT workouts you can do from home complete with video tutorials, ranging from 16 to 24 minutes
  • 20 minute treadmill workout with video tutorials
  • 25 minute stairmaster workout with video tutorials
  • 4 Week Interval Training Plan pairing the HIIT + machine workouts with a sample weight training plan

Photos by Naomi Hopkins