‘Tis the season for Christmas cookies, gathering around a pie, and throwing back an eggnog or two. With more time spent with friends and family and less time hitting the gym, it can be tough to keep that number on the scale from crawling up. Even the most disciplined may be challenged to stick to a healthy diet and fitness routine during the holiday season. That’s why we rounded up the easiest ways to stay fit during the holidays and jumpstart your journey ahead of the New Year.
1. Stick to your routine
Sure, there are a lot more distractions and it’s the busiest time of year, but don’t let that be an excuse that keeps you away from your regular workouts. If you always go for a morning run on Saturdays, for example, stick to that schedule. Plus, knowing that you have a commitment early in the day will keep you from over-indulging the night before. You can even schedule sessions with a trainer or group workouts to keep you on track and make sure you get out of bed early that morning to stay fit during the holidays.
2. Practice portion control
It’s totally fine to indulge during the holidays. The smartest way to do so is to pay attention to your portion sizes. If you want to try a slice of mom’s pumpkin pie, grab the plate with the smallest piece when they’re cutting it up. It only takes a few bites to satisfy a sweet tooth.
3. Keep your diet balanced to stay fit
We’re not just talking about hitting all the food groups here. When you have a big holiday meal scheduled for that night, a healthy salad for lunch is a good way to bring balance to your day. And when you are gathered around a dining table with loved ones, be smart about your choices. Your plate should still have loads of veggies and lean protein on it.
4. Stay hydrated
During the holiday season, it’s more important than ever to up your water intake. Water fills you up and even helps keep your metabolism going.
5. Drink wisely
We’re not saying you have to skip the booze entirely—just be smart about your libation of choice. A glass of wine or champagne has half the calories of a sweet cocktail, not to mention loads less sugar.
6. Keep moving
Realistically, there will be plenty of times when you won’t be able to make it to the gym. On those days, just keep moving to help stay fit. Little things add up, such as choosing the farthest parking spot to get in extra steps and always taking the stairs. While you’re on the phone, trying pacing during the conversation. To ensure you aren’t sedentary for too long, set a reminder on your phone to take a quick stretch break or walk around your home every hour or so.
7. Prioritize sleep
Catching enough sleep has a huge impact on your health. Studies have shown that when we don’t get enough sleep, we’re more likely to reach for unhealthy foods. Plus, anyone who has ever suffered a sleepless night knows how impossible that makes exercise. During the hectic holiday season, try to stick to your regular bedtime and aim for at least seven to eight hours a night.
8. Find a buddy
Whether the cold weather has you hitting snooze to stay warm in bed on chilly mornings or it’s just harder to carve out workout time, partnering up can help. Having a workout buddy keeps you accountable. It can be a family member or a friend, as long as they’re equally committed to staying fit. For extra incentive, think of your sweat sessions as a time to catch up, too.