How to Survive the Holidays

12.14.2020 | Forge Performance

You’ve done it. You’ve survived 2020. Well, almost. All that’s left is for you to navigate the holidays into the New Year. Something that is much easier said than done.

During an average year, this can seem like one of the more stressful times of the year for any individual. Due to the major changes in environment and levels of stress that accompany the year-end, it’s not unlike a person to gain 5 to 10 lbs during the holiday season.

Luckily, I have some strategies that could guide you through the remainder of this year unscathed. Below are 5 major strategies that you can put to work during this holiday season.

Strategy #1 – Eat slowly and mindfully

Eating slowly and mindfully is Strategy #1 for a reason. You can enjoy the tastes and wonder of the holiday season without the guilt and shame that accompanies it.

When we eat slowly, a couple things happen:

  1. We enjoy and savor the food we’re eating.

This creates a greater psychological stimulation and satisfaction. In turn, this helps us to crave and eat less of the most desirable – and often most unhealthy – foods.

  1. We get fuller, faster.

When you slow down to enjoy your food, being mindful of each bite, you wind up becoming more full. You can actually feel your stomach filling up like a pitcher.

Some additional tips for eating slow, no matter what or when you’re eating:

  • Use smaller plates and utensils
  • Sit down
  • Put down all distractions, and engage in conversation
  • Eat with your non-dominant hand

Strategy #2 – Have a drink, or two

Wait, what? I’m actually saying you should drink during the holidays?

Yup – but not without conscience. It’s no surprise that alcoholic beverages are an easy way to rack up the calories, both directly and indirectly.

But simply trying to abstain from alcohol altogether might not be your best bet. If you’re constantly spending your time trying not to drink, you might miss out on some amazing social interactions or quality time with family and friends.

Instead, have a drink, or two. Just be mindful of how many drinks you’re having.

The basic recommendations for drinking is as follows:

  1. For men – 2 drinks per day, and no more than 4 in a sitting
  2. For women – 1 drink per day, and no more than 3 in a sitting

Some additional tips for enjoying alcohol, responsibly:

  • Get your own drinks
  • Sip slowly and mindfully (just like with eating)

Strategy #3 – Workout from Home

Aside from the lack of accessibility to a gym during COVID, your time is likely to be further constrained due to the added responsibilities the holidays bring.

Exercise doesn’t always have to be structured into hour chunks, and you don’t need equipment to make it happen. After all, exercise is something we made up in order to get us moving more in our sedentary world.

Do your best to get moving, even if only for 10 minutes per day.

If you need some help putting things together, download my Build the Perfect Workout Infographic.

Or, if you’re looking for a more structured routine to follow, try my Free Winter Workout Series.

In it you’ll find 5 effective and efficient workouts you can do from the comfort of your own home with minimal time and minimal equipment.

Strategy #4 – Portion Control Guide

One of the biggest threats to our routine is the change in environment that happens during the holidays – mainly office parties and social gatherings.

Luckily (real stretch for a silver lining, here) that probably won’t be an issue. With that said, if you’re able to employ the strategies above, and put this one to practice, it’s very likely you won’t just survive the holidays – you’ll thrive!

As I alluded to earlier, this one becomes much easier when you eat slowly, but some additional guidelines for putting food on your plate can’t hurt.

You’re likely to come across some tasty treats over the next couple weeks, so how do you help yourself from overindulging in these foods at meal time?

If you’re like most people, you’re unlikely to bust out the measuring cups and food scales (something I don’t recommend regardless of the time of year), and you don’t have to. There’s a simple portion control method you can implement to build a balanced meal, just using the palm of your hand.

This really comes in handy (I know, I know) when you’re away from home or on the go, and it’s a skill you can take with you from now on.

If you’d like to see more tips and strategies for better, more nutritious meals that best fit your lifestyle, check out my Nutrition Made Simple Infographic.

Strategy #5 – Clean Out the House

If your household is like mine, where you have an abundance of both left overs from delicious, wholesome, and nutritious meals AND all the savory and sugary sweets that accompanies them afterwards, you NEED this last strategy.

Whether you’re visiting someone’s house or entertaining for friends and family, get rid of the leftovers.

There are few rules of nutrition, but even among them, one reigns supreme…

If it’s in your house, you’ll eventually eat it.

Use this rule to your advantage:

  1. Save all the nutritious and delicious food you may have made for the occasion, and store it immediately after the meal.

This will also help you avoid going back for a second dinner later on or mindlessly picking at food left out as you float around the house.

  1. Throw out or give away the leftover sweets.

If you followed the strategies above, chances are you’ve enjoyed them enough to let go of them, and you’re only torturing yourself by having them around.

You can also put the treats in a very inconvenient place making it a chore for you to get to. Or, ask a more “disciplined” spouse to hide them for you.

Enjoy yourself

There’s no reason why the holidays should be a complete bore or a non-stop binge fest. The strategies outlined above present unique opportunities for you to enjoy yourself while keeping your health and fitness a priority.

Interested in becoming the leanest, strongest, most confident version of yourself?

If you’re like most people I work with, you know that exercise, eating well, sleep, and stress management are important for not only looking, but feeling your best.

And – if you’re like the people I work with – you struggle to fit these practices into your lifestyle. You need the help of a professional to apply the most effective strategies in the context of your busy, sometimes stressful life.

That’s why I work directly with busy professionals to help them lose fat, build strength, and gain the confidence and energy they need to crush their life goals. And it doesn’t matter where you’re starting from or what you’re dealing with.

If you’re interested in working with me, schedule a time for a Complimentary Strategy Session. I’ll walk you through a tested, proven, and completely customized process to help you attain your goals in 2021.

My schedule is extremely limited, and times are filling up fast. If you want the roadmap you’re looking for to crush your goals this year, book a time by clicking the link below!