It’s that joyful and challenging time of year again, so we’ve come up with a list of 5 healthy holiday tips to keep you on track to reach your fitness goals.
It’s hard to focus on fitness during the holidays — parties and gatherings with rich food, sugary sweets, and merry drinks go on for weeks through the holiday season, all of which can easily throw you off track.
Though it’s a delicious time of year, it can spell trouble for someone dealing with weight-control issues resulting from low testosterone or other hormone imbalances, one of the most frustrating symptoms for our clients to deal with.
‘Tis the season to be merry, careful, and proactive.
Healthy Holiday Tips — Be Aware of the Cycle
When you consider that low mood and fatigue are two common symptoms of low testosterone, you can see why people with this condition might tend to exercise less.
Who wants to hit the gym or the running trail when you’re already dragging physically?
This problem of lowered activity level is further complicated by the busy holiday schedule. Who has time to exercise during the holidays?
Healthy Holiday Tips — The Little Things Add Up
Your hormones do a lot for your body, including helping to control your appetite. If those control mechanisms aren’t working at their peak, all those holiday snacks can be even tougher to turn down.
Your body has a necessary caloric intake to keep taking care of your obligations — work, getting the kids to soccer, commuting, playing sports or exercising, studying, housework, or whatever else your busy life requires.
But, people tend to go way beyond that optimum daily intake during the holidays.
A pattern forms — less exercise, more unhealthy eating and snacking, all compounded by the holidays. It’s easy to get way off the track, and it’s an absolute holiday recipe for a weight gain disaster.
But, if you follow our five tips for staying healthy during the holidays, you’ll be sure to avoid the many potential pitfalls and stay on the beam, working steadily toward your goals despite temptation.
5 Healthy Holiday Tips
Here are 5 suggestions to help fight the holiday habits that can make your battle against weight gain so much harder.
Healthy Holiday Tips — #1 — Don’t Skip Meals!
This may seem counter-intuitive because less is more.
But, if you go into a holiday party still hungry because you skipped lunch to cut calories, you could be setting yourself up to go overboard on party treats.
You could easily exceed the number of calories you would’ve eaten in a sensible meal — eating as you normally would beforehand helps you say no to more than you need.
Healthy Holiday Tips — #2 — Watch the Holiday Spirits!
Don’t get too merry on the holiday spirits.
A lot of alcohol is consumed at holiday get togethers. These beverages are super-sugary and quickly drive your caloric total up.
Alcohol also loosens your inhibitions, which can mean losing track of how much of what you’re consuming in party snacks.
Add to that the potential effects of alcohol on your hormones, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Go easy at the open bar and snack trays at parties by staying focused on the mingling, chatting, and friendship.
Healthy Holiday Tips — #3 — Beat the Blues!
I’ve already mentioned it, but low mood and fatigue are often a part of battling hormonal imbalance, and it can be compounded because the holidays are sometimes an emotional time.
You might need to be proactive — low mood can sneak up suddenly.
Be good to yourself — take a walk, play with your dog, watch fun movies, or go visit a friend. You might consider a volunteer project at a local religious or charitable organization.
Stay merry and help yourself fight holiday weight gain.
Healthy Holiday Tips — #4 — Get Plenty of Sleep
Getting enough sleep can positively affect your mood, helping you stay on top of those blues and fight overeating.
Proper rest helps your body regulate itself, which means more stable hormone levels.
Healthy Holiday Tips — #5 — Adjust Your Meal Schedule
Imagine this situation: You eat at home then go to your relative’s house. She and her family are just now serving dinner. You feel it might be rude to decline everything, so you take a plate just to be polite.
That was your second dinner — oops.
To avoid doubling up, be aware of when meals are served, especially if you’re staying with someone else. Adjust your own schedule to match by taking in very light snacks or water until the next meal.
It seems simple, but it’s easy to be caught off guard and unprepared.
Holiday Fitness Tips — Focus on a Better Diet-and-Exercise Balance
Rather than offering specific holiday workout tips, we really want to encourage you to get in some steady physical activity during the week.
The key here is to keep active in whatever way you can. Don’t give up exercise entirely, even if you aren’t able to hit the gym or the trail as often as you normally would.
Whatever you like to do and can find the time for is better than nothing — just like the little things matter when trying to keep calories down, the same applies to burning calories by keeping exercise up.
Every little bit helps.
Just keep moving and be aware of what you’re eating and drinking — it goes a long way to fighting the holiday battle against weight gain (especially if you’re susceptible due to hormone imbalance).
Breaking the Cycle of Holiday Weight Gain
If you feel like you’ve tried many of these tips in the past yet continue to struggle, you might want to learn more about how your hormones can affect your physical appearance.
Testosterone or hormone replacement therapies might be for you.
Click the button below to find out more about the relationship between testosterone and losing weight.