5 Tips for Getting Healthy and Back in Shape After the Holidays
The holiday season can be a brutal stretch for anyone who is trying to remain disciplined in their exercise routine and diet. Even the best laid plans can blow up as soon as the Christmas spread hits the table. But don’t beat yourself up. There are plenty of ways to get back in shape…even after a frustrating holiday season.
- Set Specific Goals
We all want to be healthy. We have big dreams of losing weight, toning muscles, or running a marathon – yet most of us never even come close to accomplishing these goals. And the problem is usually quite simple: We don’t set specific goals.
Specificity is the key to accomplishment. Don’t just say you want to lose weight. Turn it into a goal of losing 15 pounds over the next six months by working out five days per week with a fitness accountability partner.
Do you see the difference? Specificity drives results. Generalities do nothing but make you feel guilty.
- Hit the Gym for Strength Training
We often hit the gym and have no idea what to do. We sit there paralyzed by all of the different machines, classes, and options. The question is, how do you best spend your time to get maximum results?
We highly recommend integrating strength training into your fitness regimen. The right strength training regimen will increase your strength and flexibility. It’ll also help stabilize your joints and prevent injury. This makes it the perfect complement to other forms of exercise, including cardio.
- Eat Healthy
Okay, let’s talk about your diet. While you may have slipped over the holidays, you don’t have to let this carry over. Here are several tips for getting back on track:
- Eliminate processed foods. If you can eat it right out of the package or have to plop it in the microwave, it’s probably not good for you. (This is always the case, but it’s a pretty good rule of thumb.) Eliminate processed foods and instead opt for fresh options like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains.
- Fill half your plate with veggies. More specifically, fill it with non-starchy vegetables (which are loaded with more carbs and calories). Good non-starchy veggies include carrots, broccoli, spinach, and other dark green leafy vegetables.
- Chew slower.Seriously! The simple act of chewing your food slowly will cause you to fill up sooner. This will naturally lead you to eat less. (You can also trick your brain into thinking you’re eating more by eating from a smaller plate or bowl.)
- Eat more fish. Fatty fish like salmon, herring, and mackerel are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also loaded with vitamin B. Not only does this fill you up, but it loads your body with a ton of nutrients that lower your risk of heart disease and promote better mental health.
Follow these tips and your diet will look completely different. And if you do it for at least 14 to 21 days, you’ll actually find that your tastebuds evolve and you begin to prefer a healthier diet over processed foods.
- Stay Hydrated
Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start chugging water. Your body needs a steady dose of water throughout the day. If you struggle to consume enough water, here are some tips that will instantly increase your daily intake:
- Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up and before each meal.
- Aim to drink at least one glass of water per waking hour.
- Eat your water by including more foods like watermelon, strawberries, lettuce, and spinach in your diet.
Following these three suggestions alone will ensure you’re never dehydrated. As a result, you’ll be able to consistently operate at peak physical and mental levels.
- Get Some Sleep
Your body needs long stretches of uninterrupted sleep each night to be able to properly heal and recharge. Sleep must become a priority – which might mean penciling it into your daily schedule just like you would a meeting or other obligation. Aim for a minimum of seven hours per night (though eight is better).
Shake the Holiday “Slip-Up” and Get in Shape
Don’t let a two-week rough patch of eating sloppy and not working out derail your health and fitness goals. We all have a slip-up from time to time, but the key is to avoid letting it morph into a month or year of bad habits. If you follow the tips outlined in this article, you’ll have no trouble getting your life back on track.