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Healthful Holiday Tips

It’s that time of year again!

This is my favorite time of year.  Thanksgiving, Christmas, and whatever other holidays you may celebrate are just around the corner and with it comes the most amazing food, parties, cookies, and celebrations.  What could be better?!  Only problem is you have been busting your butt at the gym all summer and fall and don’t want to lose all you have gained (or lost!).  Don’t worry.  You can have your cake and eat it too (pun intended), and here is how. 

Here are 4 simple steps to being able to enjoy yourself this holiday season and not put on those 5-10 pounds of extra, unwanted weight.

  1. Enjoy yourself
  2. Balance is key
  3. Sweat a bit more
  4. Get your sleep

ENJOY YOURSELF

First off, the holidays are about celebration, family, and friends.  Go ahead and enjoy yourself guilt free.  Enjoy the best meals of the year and the extra few cookies, desserts, and drinks!  Just like one salad doesn’t make a healthy lifestyle, one bad meal doesn’t make an unhealthy one.  Just don’t let every meal from now until New Year’s be unhealthy!

BALANCE IS KEY

Your body wants to maintain what it has created over the past 6 months.  Where you are today is where it wants to stay.  That is why it is hard to lose weight, and on the flip side, it doesn’t want to gain weight either.  This is where balance comes in to play.  At Propello Life you will hear us talking about balance a lot.  Enjoy those “less” than healthy meals but balance them with healthy ones before and after.  The key is to plan ahead for success.  Try to eat extra healthy (this doesn’t mean calorie cutting) a couple of days before Thanksgiving.  Limit your empty calories (sugar, simple carbs, alcohol, etc) and eat lean protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats.  Try to get in more raw vegetables than you normally would.  Then try to squeeze in a healthy meal on Friday in between all the amazing left overs!  After the festivities get back to your normal, healthy eating patterns on Saturday.  Use this same strategy for other holiday parties and celebrations. 

SWEAT A BIT MORE

Keep that metabolism in high gear by getting to the gym consistently during the holidays.  I know this can be hard with extra events that throw off your normal schedule.  Again, the key is to plan ahead so you can get your workouts in.  Sweating a bit more will help for two reasons.  First, studies show your metabolism stays elevated for up to 36 hours after high intensity training.  This can be accomplished with a traditional HIIT style workout, weight training, plyometrics, and sprints on the turf, bike, rower, and treadmill.  Second, working out is a great time to burn off stress, spend time with your gym friends, and get away from the hectic holiday season.  Enjoy your time at the gym and maintain all you have earned the past few months!

GET YOUR SLEEP

As a parent of three kids under 9, in our family getting more sleep is like gold.  If you also have kids, then you know what I mean.  If not, please don’t diminish the preciousness of sleep.  It is literally one of my favorite things!  Why?  Study’s show that the optimal amount of sleep is 6-8 hours of restful, uninterrupted sleep.  This will help lower the stress hormone cortisol, help your body recover from your workouts, and provide you more energy to kick each day’s butt.  Put more simply, getting enough sleep will give you more energy, help you lose weight, and gain more muscle.  It will also make you a happier, friendlier person (just ask my wife).  And the world needs more of this! 

To set yourself up for success in the sleep game – make sure the temperature is set between 60-68 degrees, the room is dark, avoid technology (screen time) for 1 hour before bed, don’t watch tv in your bed, and take a hot bath or shower to relax yourself.

The holidays are a time for celebration.  Have fun, enjoy time with your family and friends, and maintain what you have earned at the gym using the 4 simple steps above!

Happy Holidays!

 

LIVE FOR IT.

duke  

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1 comment

  • Loved the blog very helpful thanks!!

    Carina

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