New year, new me? How many times have you said this to yourself? When the holiday season arrives, we find ourselves letting discipline slip as we say “yes” to those extra portions and sugary Christmas cookies. We justify this behavior by saying, “It’s fine. I’ll indulge now and work hard in January.”
In January, we often start off with good intentions. However, most of us quickly fall back to our old habits. By overindulging during the holidays and setting unrealistic expectations for the new year, we are doomed from the start.
Our bodies love stability. Our hormone, digestive, respiratory and muscle systems all work in perfect harmony to retain balance. After shocking our bodies by suddenly consuming high amounts of sugar during the holidays, then completely depriving the body of sugar on January 1st, we send our body into chaos. Couple that with reduced calorie intake and increased exercise and the body becomes stressed out.
Our advice is to start making healthy changes now to ensure you lay a solid foundation for achieving your goals in the new year. The best part is, a healthy lifestyle means you can still enjoy your treats in moderation. In fact, even our 8fit meal plans include treats like ice cream from time to time.
Don’t wait for a certain calendar day to embrace healthy lifestyles. Start putting a plan into action when the thought first enters your mind. Whether you want to eat healthier, exercise more, lose weight or gain muscle, the 8fit app and coaches like me are here to help you reach your goals in a manageable, sustainable way.
Here are some tips to get started:
- Enjoy your food: If you are going to have something indulgent, enjoy it instead of scoffing it down and reaching for the next treat. Take your time, enjoy the flavors and chew slowly to allow your brain to register what you have eaten. This leaves you feeling full and satisfied.
- Change your mindset: When you delay new healthy habits until January, you give yourself the OK to indulge and put off exercise around the holidays. Then when January rolls around, your exercise and meal plans feel overwhelming and controlling. Simply changing your mindset to, “I can be healthy now and indulge in moderation whenever I want,” gives you power over your food and enables you to reclaim control.
- Now, not later: Have you heard the saying, “If you want something you’ll do it and if you don’t want it enough, you’ll make an excuse”? It’s really easy to put things off and say we will deal with them later, but in the end, this just makes the problem harder to solve and increases stress. By dealing with it now, you will feel better knowing that you are taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle.
Here are ways to get on track and feel amazing right now:
- Exercise: Regular exercise is a fantastic way to decrease stress and improve happy hormones; and, who doesn’t want to feel relaxed and joyful during the holiday season? We recommend short (but effective) 8fit workouts 4 times per week. Try our holiday-inspired HIIT workout.
- Lay down a healthy foundation for nutrition: Don’t skip meals. Around the holidays, we tend to skip breakfast or lunch to make room for a big, indulgent dinner. Skipping meals causes your blood sugar and energy levels to dip, which leads to overeating and sweet cravings. Also, opt for healthy drink alternatives, pay attention to how much food you are piling onto your plate, and avoid frying as a cooking method.
- Lastly, but most importantly, enjoy yourself: Don’t feel guilty about the types of foods you eat or for only doing a 15-minute workout. Turn negative thoughts into positive ones by thinking about how much you enjoyed the day.
Remember, you don’t have to wait until New Year’s Day. Start now. 8fit gives you the workout and meal plan tools you need to get started. And, within you, you have the willpower to take the first step towards a healthy, happy you.
Yours in health and 8fitness,