Surviving the Holidays

Strategies to Surviving the Holidays

At this time of the year, the number one question we get asked as fitness professionals is “How do I make it through the Holidays?” Some of our clients are worried about gaining weight while they enjoy the good food and others falling off their workout routine while they are busy visiting family and friends. Here are our recommendations to make it to the other side of the holidays healthy and ready to take on the New Year.

The ultimate goal is to come out as health as you went in. Now is not the time to focus on performance or acceleration of your training or diet.

Stress Management 
 -Look at your overall schedule for the 2 weeks of the holidays and book personal time or days off. Try to aim for 4-5 personal segments of time. 
 
Nutrition
 -Set yourself up for good days by taking care at breakfast. Eat high fat and high protein foods such as steak, chicken, avocado, nuts, eggs. Eliminate sugar from your coffee & tea or drink water and avoid juice.
 -Eat before you go to the party, select foods that are high protein and high fat. Going with a full stomach makes it easier to avoid overindulging on the snacks. While at the party remember to “nibble” on the treats and stick to the good treats if you can.
 
Alcohol
 -Limit the number of drinks you have and the consecutive days of drinking. Excessive drinking supresses testosterone in men and increases estrogen in women for up to 3 days after. The hormone changes cause bloating, inflammation and lower your body’s defenses to fight off sickness.
  -If you are going to indulge, make better choices. Wine and spirits without the mix are easier on your body’s insulin response. A side note if you are going to use soda for mix avoid diet varieties.
 
Sleep
 -It’s impossible for the body to make up for the loss of sleep. However, when you have a late night, the next day it’s more important than ever that you make the right choices, eat better foods and still get moderate exercise if you can. Nap in the afternoon if possible.
 -If you are having a hard time getting to sleep. Select a place that is as dark as possible, don’t use any screens including TV, ipads and cell phones. A hot epsom salt bath can help as well as magnesium supplements and creams. Magnesium calms the nervous system down.
 
Exercise
 -Try to keep up the number of workouts that you usually do but shorten the duration by 25%. This is especially important if you are getting less sleep than usual. 
 -Exercise often, even short workouts or walks are good. They can relieve stress and promote better sleep and recovery.

Remember the goal is to have a great time during the holidays with family and friends. Enjoy the great food and drink but with the above guidelines you can remain as healthy going into the holidays as you are going out.

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