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8 Steps to Staying Lean (and Sane!) this Holiday Season

By Emily Saunders

I love this time of year with gatherings of family and friends, the decorations, music and a time for celebrating a multitude of holidays.  However, the holidays can also be extremely stressful. Between shopping, decorating, traveling, cooking, wrapping and all of the gatherings there is little time to relax and truly ENJOY the celebrations and instead many just look forward to the New Year.

One of the first things out the window for most people is healthy eating and exercise.  After all there are treats everywhere we go  from extra samples at the grocery store to countless cookies at work and let’s not even mention ALL of those parties.  So what’s a fit gal to do when her schedule is stressing her out leaving little time for exercise?

Below are a few of the tactics I practice to help myself truly ENJOY the holiday season:

  1.  Cut yourself some slack
    Your workouts might be shorter and you will likely be eating convenience foods while traveling and running around shopping and partying.  That’s fine just be sure that you remember the tools you have learned through Jillfit and make the best decisions you can.  Walk and get your heavy weight training in when you can and make the best eating decisions available to you at each event.
  2. Don’t feel obligated to attend EVERY SINGLE event to which you are invited
    If your boss stresses you out and your company party isn’t required then skip it!  Don’t force yourself into stressful situations that are avoidable.
  3. Indulge ONLY in your favorites
    When presented with a holiday buffet and open bar it can be difficult not to eat everything in sight.  Take stock of what’s available and load up on protein and veggies then have a few small bites of your favorite treats.  Limit alcohol and try your best to avoid combining it with starchy foods and sweets.
  4. Reconsider your workout schedule
    Just because you cannot make it to the gym for 90 minutes DOES NOT mean you cannot exercise.  Head outside for 20 minutes of sprints or grab a pair of dumbbells and complete a video at home.  Remember that ANY exercise is better than NONE and QUALITY beats QUANTITY every time J
  5. Plan and schedule as much as possible
    To help eliminate stress try to schedule the “must complete” tasks like gift shopping and wrapping as much as you’re able.  If you have a plan in place then you are less likely to stress over how you will get it “all” done.  For some, sticking to a schedule adds MORE stress- know yourself and what works best for you.
  6. Stock up on convenience foods
    Keep bars, nuts, hard fruits, jerky etc. extra handy in your car and at home for those times you are stuck without having time to prep a meal- you will be glad you did!  Also, when you do cook make extra and freeze extras for later use.  I do this with soups and chili on a regular basis for quick and easy meals in a pinch.
  7. Take time to consider your favorite holiday traditions
    Maybe it’s baking (low carb :)) cookies with your family or going out to look at Christmas lights or going to see the Nutcracker.  Make sure you that you make time to do the things you truly ENJOY this time of year.
    Drink your water! Take it everywhere and keep refilling it.

Interested in learning how to live a lean lifestyle year-round? The JillFit Lifestyle Online Membership is a great way to stay on track and accountable throughout the year. The annual rate ($179) is going up come Jan 1, 2013 so don’t wait to join :) Contact us if you have questions!

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