*DISCLAIMER: I’m not a doctor, trainer, nutritionist, or any type of health professional. I’m just sharing my opinions and thoughts based on my reading, research, and personal experience* This is part of the "Staying Healthy for the Holidays”.
The holidays can be a difficult time to stay on track – there are tons of obligations, gift shopping, holiday treats, and social pressures that can easily de-rail even the most committed clean eater. And that’s OKAY. It’s the holidays, it is a time to be grateful and celebrate with family.
[so much chocolate goodness]
For many people, women in particular, there is also pressure to stay "fit” during the holidays. Women see the latest diet challenge/trend and think “Well, if I have a PLAN to stick to then I won’t fall face first into all of those cookies and can ring in the New Year looking great!” The intention is good – we should all strive to be healthy all the time and to live in a way that makes us feel good. The problem? Trying to overhaul dozens of bad habits during a high stress, high pressure time that is basically sugar-laden and covered in chocolate. Trying to completely overhaul your lifestyle in a day is tricky business ANYTIME but that's a topic worthy of it's own post.
[staying consistency with my workouts, even if it does mean 20 minutes of death by GHD sit ups. Check out the #polarusa HRM - love this thing!]
Adding the additional pressure of overhauling your entire lifestyle and nutrition approach is adding additional stress and as we’ve talked about before, stress is not good. Now, I’m not saying that we should all fall victim to “what-the-hell” syndrome and shove every gingerbread man in our mouths while we resolve to “be better” and “start over” in the New Year. I’m saying that we should focus on changing one or two habits at a time or better yet, just being CONSISTENTwith the changes that we’ve already made. Consistently eat in a way that makes you feel good, consistently exercise, and consistently take time for yourself. Let’s recap: overhaul = stress = bad for your mental and physical health.
[normal dinner of pulled pork & brussel sprouts]
I do think it is possible to change habits during the holidays – hell, it is even possible to do something like a Whole30 challenge during the holidays. Is it the best option for everyone? Not necessarily and this outlines a few reasons why. Basically, setting up yourself for an overhaul during the holidays can leave you feeling stressed, depressed, and possibly a little lonely. So instead of overhauling your lifestyle, nutrition, and exercise focus on consistency and reap the benefits.
I hope everyone has a great weekend and holiday! I will hopefully be popping in on Monday with a round up of last minute treats.