The holidays can be such a crazy time of the year. Our routines get all messed up with travel, parties, and LOTS of extra food. How do you cope? Here are my secret strategies for maintaining my sanity – and my figure – during the holiday hubbub:
- Allow for margin. What I mean is that you may need to give yourself a little extra margin for error. It’s okay to have a treat at your 3pm meeting when someone brought in a tin of homemade fudge to share or skip a workout, if there’s no way around it, in order to attend your niece’s Christmas Cantata. Remember it’s what you do most of the time that matters most.
- Get strict in other ways. The only way to not gain weight during this season is to find a way to balance the excess calories mentioned above! Here’s where the “most” comes in. MOST of the time you’re still in control of your days and you can help balance some of that excess with tougher workouts, choosing a salad over the lobster roll, and parking farther from the mall entrance than is necessary to get in your steps. Buckle down where you can.
- Manage your stress. If your family, shopping, or disruptions in your routine make you want to reach for that Christmas tree shaped snack cake, you need to give yourself a time out. (And don’t buy those snack cakes in the first place!) Intense exercise can help reduce tension and burn calories, but it’s actually not a great stress reliever. Yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises, however are wonderful stress reducers.
- Avoid stimulants. It’s tempting to chug the coffee or diet soda to keep yourself going during this busy time, but it doesn’t really help. Over time, you will have a crash and it’s unsustainable in the long run. Caffeine (my particular vice) will provide a temporary crutch, but will only leave you more exhausted in the days that follow.
- Get enough sleep. By avoiding stimulants and managing your stress, you will be well on your way to a better night’s sleep. While you may be tempted to stay up to complete tasks, a good night’s sleep is essential to helping give you the energy you need to manage the busyness with a smile. Besides, how can you look fab in that new holiday dress with bags under your eyes?
These are my five. What should I add to the list? What you are you going to try?
Caroline @ Caroline Kaufman Nutrition