It’s that time of year again and while I may have missed Thanksgiving there is still plenty of holiday left before the year is over. This advice might actually be the opposite of what you would expect to hear from a personal trainer, but I am here to tell you that it is okay to give in a little and enjoy yourself this time of the year.
The holidays can be stressful for many reasons, a major one being the food that is often associated with holiday parties. If you’re trying to be “healthy” or be mindful of what you’re eating this can make participating and enjoying yourself difficult. Many people are afraid that if they stray off course for even one meal, all of the progress that they have made will be ruined but logically, this doesn’t make sense. It takes about an excess of 3500 calories to gain 1 pound. I can assure you that it is nearly impossible to eat an excess of 3500 calories in one day nevermind one sitting.
Unless you have a holiday party every single day of the month there is nothing wrong (and it’s actually good for your mental health) with allowing yourself to enjoy some good tasting food and drinks. Thanksgiving has already come and gone but say you have an office holiday party, one or two parties with your friends and then one or two days of celebrating with your family, that only equals six days. Six days out of the whole year. If you add in New Years Eve and New Years day that is eight days. I promise you that going a little overboard for eight days will not have a huge impact on your goals or life in general.
In regards to exercise this time of year, you don’t need to add in an extra workout or try to “work off” the extra food that you consumed. This phenomenon is actually unhealthy and teaches you that you have to earn your food which simply isn’t true. Instead, stick to your normal workout plan and focus on exercising to feel good and energized rather than as a form of punishment. If you miss a day or two just pick back up where you left off rather than trying to make up for it.
At the end of the day spending quality time with your friends and family without stressing about the food that you’re eating is way healthier than obsessing over your food intake. Take this time to relax and unwind and have that extra piece of pie and a cup of hot cocoa.