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How to Stay Consistent with Diet and Exercise During the Holidays

woman in yoga pose in front of christmas tree

How can I stay consistent with my diet is a common question. Staying consistent with your workouts and diet can be particularly hard around the holiday season. It is not easy to have a well balanced healthy meal while your loved ones are eating a glazed holiday ham that has been cooked inside a huge turkey. I’m exaggerating but you get the point. After years of answering this question and trying to come up with clever diet hacks, there are a few things I tell my clients. So let’s get into how to stay consistent with diet and exercise.

When it comes to exercise consistency is the key. That being said, you don’t want to jump into the deep end of the pool. Start out with 1 or 2 days a week and work it into your existing schedule. This means not making a drastic change all at once that will be unrealistic. Going from watching TV to working out 4 to 5 days a week is a shock to the system. Most people will be fine the first 2 weeks and then completely fall off from burnout. Start slow and work your way into more workout days and more strenuous workouts.

thanksgiving holiday dinner table

When it comes to how to stay consistent with diet, the same approach should be taken. The gradual transition from a junk food platter to a balanced meal shouldn’t happen over night. So, waking up and throwing away your Oreo cookies and family sized bag of Doritos probably isn’t the best approach. Staying consistent requires you to not just change your diet. It requires you to change eating habits as a whole. Your discipline with eating is going to show in the supermarket. Buy your fruit, veggies, starch, and protein. Meal prep or plan out your meals for the week. Don’t even go down the snack isles to buy more of these snacks. Slowly finish the snacks you have in your pantry.

On your next trip to the supermarket make it a point to buy what will be needed for your “cheat meal”. A cheat meal is a relatively unhealthy dinner or lunch that will be your reward for eating clean 95% of the week. This cheat meal is that other 5%. Believe me, when you’ve been eating ground turkey with rice and broccoli all week something as simple as a cheese burger is like having your favorite singer in your dinning room singing just for you.

Holidays can be challenging. The idea of staying consistent with your diet and workouts can be especially challenging if you don’t plan ahead. Knowing that you will not be able to say no to grandma’s pie or in my case that baked mac and cheese, don’t even try to. Enjoy this as your cheat meal. So if your cheat day for that week normally lands on a Wednesday, stick to your clean eating until the holiday. Working the holiday in as your cheat meal will allow you to enjoy yourself guilt free.

Sticking to your workout routine requires preparation and foresight. Traveling for the holiday doesn't mean you can't get your exercise. If you are staying at a hotel, book one that has a fitness room. If you are a member of a franchise gym, call ahead and see if your membership will allow you to be a guest at a different location on your trip. Something as simple as jogging in the area can keep you in the mindset of not missing a workout. Now, if you are going to be spending Christmas in Minnesota, I don’t suggest running outside. In that situation, I suggest packing a set of resistance bands or following one of our no equipment needed online workouts in a warm house.

Consistence in diet and exercise all boils down to preparation and planning. Make slow but stead sustainable changes to your lifestyle. Avoid drastic shocks to the system. Remember your fitness journey is your own. Finding the right balance can take time and is a crucial part becoming a healthier happier you.

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