Keeping Fit over the Holidays: 8 Strategies to maintain your fitness

The Holidays are well upon us, and that means holiday baking, Christmas parties, family dinners and reunions with friends over drinks. If you are like me and have the will power of a kid in a candy shop, then the holidays will be a difficult time when trying to maintain your fitness. Here are some of the best strategies to avoid the holiday overindulgence:

1. Do not stand near the food table. I REPEAT! Do NOT stand by the food table!

Set your self up at a table or with friends away from where the sugar cookies and eggnog are situated. You won’t be tempted this way to reach for just one more little treat.

2. Incorporate High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your workout

HIIT is a form of exercise where you perform short bursts of intense exercise in combination with low intensity exercise. There are many different forms of HIIT, but it is a much faster and efficient way to burn calories, allowing you more time for holiday activites, shopping and festivities. For workout ideas incorporating HIIT, check out some of my circuit workouts: 7 Minute Abs 7 Minute Booty Builder and Total Body Circuit.

3. Watch those liquid calories

Holiday drinking is almost inevitable, however being smart about it is the key! Drink at least 1 glass of water for every drink you consume and be sure to choose drinks that are lower in calories and sugar.

4. Make it a family affair

When planning your family outings over the holidays, plan fun activites like outdoor skating, a snowball fight or going for a walk. This keeps it social while having fun and staying active.

5. Don’t go to the party on an empty stomach

Before you head out, have a good snack filled with fibre and protein to fill you up. This will keep you from searching out the nearest bowl of snacks at the party because you are starving and will help prevent you from over eating.

6. Allow yourself to have a treat

Don’t avoid eating every single morcel of goodness. Eventually you will cave and binge eating will happen. By allowing yourself to enjoy a treat here and there you will have the satisfaction of filling the craving and avoid the binge down the road. What are the holidays without an occasional rum and eggnog or sugar cookie.

7. Plan ahead

The holidays are busy and stressful for many. Planning ahead for your day of shopping or your evening of socializing is really important to your health. If you know you are going to be at the mall all day, bring a lunch with you that you have made and know all the (healthy) ingradients you have used. This will save you time (have you seen the lineups at Metrotown lately!?), money and calories.

8. Arm yourself with a mug of tea!

Ahhh the trusted mug of tea. My best friend while doing my 30 Day No Drinking Challenge, and still a huge staple in my life. I have been bringing my mug of tea with me to work, holiday gatherings and just everywhere. It is fantastic because you have something in your hand to drink and enjoy and tend to say no to at least the first round of drinks.

Bonus: Don’t Stress

Remember, the holidays are a time for family, friends and fun. If you eat a little more, drink a little more, or skip an occasional workout it isn’t the end of the world. You have worked hard enough over the rest of the year and will again afterwards.