As a mom of three children, sometimes its hard for me to manage the house, the kids, and take care of myself. Would I love to be able to spend 1 hour per day at the gym? Yes! But sometimes for me, other things take priority and I get left in the wayside. Well here are some great ways on how to stay on track, even without exercising, during the holidays! This is a special guest blog post by a very good friend, Jesse Harris, who has actually helped me stay fit during my last pregnancy.
It’s getting to be that time of the year. You know. Holiday parties. Cookie exchanges. Fancy cocktails. New Years Eve champagne. And the Eggnog. Oh how I love the eggnog!
With so many temptations at our fingertips, how do we stay on track?
In a study conducted in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers gave scales to 3,000 participants across the US, Germany, and Japan. The results of the study showed that the largest gains were over the Christmas to New Years time frame with Americans gaining and average of 1.3lbs (Miller, 2016).
With 10 of my easy tips, we can avoid being one of those statistics, and stay on track during the holiday season.
1. Don't forget about your workout routine. I know with the kids being home from school, all day, for 10ish weekdays, your routine gets a little derailed. Don't let it! If your gym has childcare, drag them a long with you to your daily cycle class! Don't forget your weight training! Try to lift those weights 3x per week! If you don't belong to a gym, it doesn't have childcare, then make a point each day, whether it's in the morning or the evening, to bundle up and go outside for a walk or run. If it's dark, wear reflective gear. If it's cold, wear a hat and scarf. Once you start moving, you'll warm up. Don't neglect your workouts. They are not only for your physical health, but they are a great stress reliever!
2. Find fitness in daily routines. To piggy back off of the above tip, make decisions that will benefit your health. For example, chose the furthest parking spot from the store. Also, take the stairs. When you're baking or preparing dinner, turn on music and dance. Just keep moving!
3. Avoid over eating at Holiday parties. First of all, never arrive to a holiday party hungry. When you get to the party and are starving, that is a recipe for disaster. You will fill your plate with everything that isn't nailed down. When making your plate, chose foods high in protein first, then your veggies (no dip), and last, fruit. It's OK to have a piece of pie, but keep it small and don't go back for seconds. Also, try drinking a large glass of water before eating or snacking. The water will fill you up making snacking less tempting.
4. Come Prepared. When you go to a holiday party, nine times out of ten you're going to bring a dish to share. Make sure that your dish is a healthy one. If everything at the party is full of butter and fat, at least the dish you have made is guilt-free.
5. When it comes to your outfit, chose something form fitting. First of all, you deserve to look and feel beautiful. As moms, it's not often we get to dress up, so let's go all out! If you're wearing that form fitting dress, the last think you're going to want to do is feel bloated. Make sure you drink plenty of water and avoid salty snacks.
6. Cocktails. Oh the delicious, tempting, pretty cocktails. This can be a doozy because at holiday parties, there are SO many different options and concoctions to chose from! First of all, stay away from anything that has "cream". No Bailey's, no Irish Cream, no eggnog (bummer). A little sip is OK, but don't make it your "go-to" drink. You can have a glass of wine, or a lite beer, but limit yourself. When it comes to alcohol, there is no "healthy" holiday drink (other than water). The more alcohol you consume, the less control you begin to have other what you snack on. Carry around a bottle, or glass, of water. Trust me, you'll thank me the following morning when you're not hungover.
7. When you're cooking, limit the amount of times you "taste" the food. You don't realize how many calories you actually consume while while you're sampling. If you need to taste something, make sure it's a small amount, and only once. Keep that bottle of water on hand. Each time you fill like tasting, drink up!
8. "I am not going to eat anything all day to save up all my calories for Thanksgiving dinner!" I have heard this statement many, many times. This is a BIG mistake. When you skip a meal(s), you become so hungry come dinnertime, that you over-eat. On Thanksgiving Day (and Christmas Day), eat a regular healthy breakfast, and a regular healthy lunch. When dinnertime rolls around, you won't be irrational with your food consumption.
9. Smaller Plates. There have been studies conducted that people tend to over-serve on larger plates. The large the plate, the larger the food intake. Instead of using your standard 12 inch plate this holiday season, try using a 10 inch plate. There's less space to fill which equals less calories.
10. Walk. Now that Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner is over, make it a family tradition to go for a walk post meal. This will get everyone moving, burn some extra calories, and get people away from the food (to avoid additional snacking).
Miller, S. (2016, September 21). A look at holiday weight gain in 3 countries. Retrieved October 22, 2016, from https://www.google.com/amp/amp.livescience.com/56206-holiday-weight-gain-america-japan-germany.html?client=ms-android-att-us
Jesse has been training and teaching group exercise since 2004 and has her Masters Degree in Health and Fitness Studies, and her Bachelors in Sports Management. She is also certified through various disciples including National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Senior and Youth Fitness Specialist, Sara City Workouts (SCW) Group Exercise & Moms in Motion, Cycle Fusion Indoor Cycling Level 2, American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA) Agility, Balance and Coordination Exercise Specialist; and Exercise Design Specialist. Jesse is an active blog writer for Fit Mom Strong Mom, and well as a freelance writer for her blog, Mom-spiration.
Jesse's husband is active duty Coast Guard and she is a busy mom of 3 young boys. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, boating with her family, stand-up paddleboarding, and the beach.