December is here and with that comes a lot of stress. Although the ‘holidays’ are supposed to be the happiest time of the year, for many, it can be the most stressful.
On a personal note, in the last few years there’s been some BIG changes in my personal life that have made the holidays a stressful time for me. I’m not belly aching, but the fact is, many of us struggle at this time.
Oddly for me, in times of stress I’m one of those that ‘can’t eat’ so my goal is to ensure that I eat regularly. I know there are some of you out there too. I guess I’d prefer this to emotional eating because that brings it’s own challenges, but under eating can bring challenges too.
So here’s 31 ways to a healthier December for you…
(These bits of advice are for me too.)
1. Look at the calendar and identify the biggest days of temptation and make a plan to stay on track.
2. Plan your workouts. Put them in INK in your day timer.
3. Cut back on the TIME your workout takes, but increase the INTENSITY.
4. Take an inventory of the MOST appealing and tempting foods for you. Plan to INDULGE, with a smaller portion size so you don’t feel deprived and fall off the wagon.
5. Consider a ‘finisher’ style workout if you just can’t get to your regular routine. Try this body weight workout at home:
Do as many rounds as you can in 12 minutes after a 2 minute warm up:
5 push ups, 4 squat jumps, 3 reverse lunges per leg, 2 burpees, 1 minute of jump rope
(for more ‘finisher’ ideas go HERE)
6. Don’t over spend on gifts. Consider the ‘gift of time’, spending time together doing new things.
7. Don’t go shopping on an empty stomach.
8. Don’t over plan, look at your calendar and say NO to some things.
9. Bring a healthy dish to events so you’ll always have a good choice.
10. Wash your hands more often, it’s the start of cold and flu season.
11. Don’t forget Vitamin D.
12. Eat before going out. Have a snack such as an apple and 10 almonds and a glass of water or skim milk to curb your appetite.
13. Don’t try to be ‘perfect’. Allow for some mistakes and maintain your sense of humor.
14. Don’t fall into the ‘long slow cardio’ trap. This is the LEAST effective method of fat loss.
15. Try a new winter sport.
16. Plan to workout with a friend.
17. Cut back on baking and if you do bake, do so at the last minute so that you’re not tempted to eat it.
18. Treat yourself to a bubble bath or manicure versus other ‘treats’.
19. Sleep more, guard your bedtime, create a routine so falling to sleep is easier even when stressed.
20. Drink up! Water that is.
21. Limit alcohol consumption. Enjoy one beverage and then chase it with water.
22. Watch the type of alcohol you drink, watch the mix, consider club soda. Avoid sugary alcoholic drinks.
23. Give back, find a way to volunteer or give back to the less fortunate.
24. Use a smaller plate, you can cut back up to 250 calories a day by doing so.
25. At social gatherings, focus on the fun and not the food.
26. Find reasons to be active.
27. Don’t skip meals, your body is expecting to be fed and will shut down the metabolism when food doesn’t arrive at regular intervals.
28. Skip traditional holiday recipes or consider modifying them with healthier ingredients.
30. Don’t fall for gimmicky fitness toys. There are NO magic bullets or replacements for good clean sweat!
31. Stay positive and ENJOY!
I hope that the start of the holiday season finds you happy and healthy and you can use the upcoming days to maintain your healthy lifestyle.
If you need a little help, I’ve got a plan that you can use at home. Check it out here.