The holiday season — celebrating everything from Thanksgiving to Christmas to Hanukkah and New Years — everyone indulges a little either out of a festive mood or because of the parties and gathering they are attending. With more downtime with friends and family as well as family meals, social events, and delicious holiday snacks, it is easy to accumulate a few pounds in the latter months of the year.
Since for many of us the holidays are loaded with excess sugar and some treats we typically don’t indulge in, most of us are looking ahead of 2017 and figuring out how we can get back into shape and shed those holiday pounds.
If you stayed the course and were good this holiday season, good for you! However, you probably would like to continue your healthy habits and make the new year a good one.
Below are some helpful tips for anyone looking to getting fit again or maintaining their newfound fitness after the holidays are over.
Don’t Delay — Start Now
It’s easy to plan one’s new years resolution and say “maybe on this date,” but procrastination only damages your goal of fitness. The phrase “I’ll start my diet tomorrow” just makes your brain give in to another rich dessert or cocktail you probably don’t even want.
Cut Out the Snacks from your Shopping List
Give up or cut back the snacks and foods that aren’t contributing to your body in the way of nutrients. We tend to avoid extras such as salad dressing when counting our calories, but these sneaky extras can be a large contributor in gaining weight over time.
After the holiday season ends and you’re getting back into yoga and a healthier diet, cutting the sweet stuff you still have around your house out of your daily diet will help significantly. Give them to a neighbor, friend, or family member — if they’re out of the house, you won’t have to avoid temptation.
Now is the time to choose foods that are rich in nutritional fibers. Legumes, oatmeal, whole grain breads and cereals, fruits, vegetables, and much more. Nutritional fibers improve your body’s metabolism and energy output on food digestion. They also contribute a sense of fullness and a balanced blood sugar.
This offers many benefits in aiding metabolism speeds and better digestion post-holidays.
This is the perfect time to continue your exercise routines as well. Going back to your scheduled yoga classes or using your home yoga studio more often is a great way to get back into the swing of things.
Peace of mind, your favorite yoga poses, a relaxing atmosphere, and your local or home gym equipment can benefit you greatly when starting to eat healthy again. By eating healthier and burning those good calories you are consuming, you can add stretching your muscles and mind in yoga as the perfect combination to finding the motivation and means to getting fit.
Reduce Alcoholic and Sugar-Sweet Beverages
Most of you reading this are much like myself and hardly ever drink any beverage with sugar, syrups, or significant caloric value. If you do, just remember – these beverages don’t contribute much (or anything) to your health or thirst in the long run.
There are so many amazing alternatives out there that offer thirst-quenching beverages without all of the artificial and caloric additives. Be sure to drink plenty of water (both plain and flavored), as well green or herbal teas. You can drink them plain or with natural non-caloric sweeteners. There is an incredible range of healthy and delicious drinks out there that will keep you hydrated, give you plenty of antioxidants and beneficial vitamins and minerals, as well as keep you worry-free about what you are drinking as you stay fit.
Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals to Cut Down
Getting fit after the holidays is so difficult for many people, because over time, our stomach expands — especially after holiday season eating habits. Remember that your stomach is actually a muscle and when cutting down on sweet stuff, snacks, and excess foods, your stomach is used to eating more and feeling fuller. This makes crash diets terrible for those trying to get fit again.
The trick is not to starve yourself into losing weight. Give your body all of the good stuff it needs. Make sure you eat plenty of natural fibers (this will make you feel fuller) and eat your fruits and vegetable, as well as lean meats like fish.
Eat small meals every three to four hours as opposed to once or twice a day. The idea is to make your stomach feel like it is at capacity and feeling full while eating smaller amounts of food throughout the day.
Eating smaller meals also makes you more satisfied, keeps your energy levels up, doesn’t give you much time to snack, and is healthier than even the three square meals a day rule we all grew up with.
The Right Mindset
This part is just as important as all of the tips above — remind yourself that you do not have to lose the weight as fast as the holidays may have put it on. That’s not healthy and probably not realistic without harming yourself, so give yourself reasonable expectations and more importantly — give yourself a mental break.
You can start however many changes you want at any time. You don’t have to be extreme and you certainly should not be hard on your body or your mind — no one can stay on a restrictive diet forever, so implement the changes you feel comfortable with and work your way back to feeling fit.
Becoming fit is a personal ordeal. Everyone has certain parts of their bodies they want to improve. Whether it is a health issue, a heart issue, wanting to fit back into those jeans again, or toning up muscles, you are the decision-maker in your goals. In order to keep your mindset positive, make any exercises like yoga fun and fulfilling, while any food diets are also enjoyable. Congratulate yourself on surpassing goals, even those as little as having carrots for a snack when you really wanted something else.
To keep your body healthy, you cannot starve yourself. Healthy foods will keep you full, happier, and benefit your body more than a crash diet. Committing to exercises like yoga can help you regulate blood pressure, relax you, decrease stress levels, make you feel more energetic, and meditating can help you to remain positive and focus on the important things.
However you choose to start your post-holiday fitness goals, know that if you put your mind into them, you will succeed. Take a look at some of our articles below, which will tell you how you can spice up your yoga routine, get new yoga gear to start off the new year, and how to create your own yoga and meditative space that you can use anytime you are not in the local yoga studio.
You’re not in this alone!
Yoga Wear for the Winter