Halloween is the start of the holiday season, which means we have some fun months ahead. While it’s enjoyable to share these holidays and traditions with friends and family, the season can also make it hard to stay on track with your health goals.
How often do you “slip up” with your diet and exercise because holiday celebrations are getting in the way? The truth is that a little bit of discipline and advanced planning goes a long way to stay consistent with your health goals right now, and throughout the rest of the year. If you can follow your goals through the holidays, then the rest of the year will feel much easier.
When the Halloween treats start haunting you, then it’s time to buckle down and recommit to your fitness and weight loss efforts. Put together an action plan so you know what to do when the cravings hit. An occasional treat won’t hurt, but make sure you are avoiding the over-indulging because you don’t need those extra calories.
Here are a few tips to help with your health goals during this holiday season:
Stick with Your Normal Meal Plans
If you are sticking with your normal diet for 95% of the meals, then a few cheat meals aren’t going to throw off your progress. There are two things to watch for during the Halloween season. First, be careful to avoid skipping meals. If you are too busy with the seasonal activities and forget to eat, then it’s harder to stay away from the treats and junk later in the day.
Next, make sure to fill your belly with healthy foods before going to parties. For example, if you show up to a Halloween party after eating a meal of vegetables (fiber) and meat (lean protein), then you will be feeling satisfied and there isn’t a lot of room left for the treats.
Get Back on Track
If you slip up and eat too much sugar or calories, then don’t let it be the domino that keeps you on an unhealthy path for the rest of the season. Instead, acknowledge that you make the choice, and be proactive about getting back on track right away.
You always have a fresh start to recommit to your health goals every morning. Write down reminders about why you want to stay consistent, then view each morning as a new opportunity to stay consistent with your goals.
Procrastinate Halloween Planning
How often does it happen that families buy trick-or-treating candy on early October, only to find a need to buy another bag at the end of the month because the first bag was already eaten? It can be hard to stick to your health goals when there is always a bag of candy in sight every time you open the pantry. Buying the candy early means there is a risk that you might open it early, and a few treats can quickly add up over the month.
Wait to buy your Halloween candy until a few days before the trick-or-treaters will be coming. If you have any leftover candy, then make sure to get it out of the house as soon as possible so you don’t have the temptation.
Don’t Buy Your Favorites
While we are on the topic of Halloween candy, also think about the types of candy that you are buying for trick-or-treaters. Many times, the inclination is to purchase your favorite treat so that you can share it with others. But try switching your strategy this year and get something that you won’t want to eat. If it isn’t your favorite candy, then you’ll probably think twice before eating it because it won’t be worth the calories.
If you choose to indulge in some of the Halloween candy, avoid eating it straight from the bag. It’s better to minimize mindless eating by choosing your portion sizes before sitting down to enjoy the treat. Another strategy is to alternate bites with healthier snacks in between. For example, between bites of the fun-size candy bar, also eat mixed nuts to boost your satiety.
When you are seeing candy and treats everywhere, you can trick yourself into feeling satisfied by chewing gum or sucking on a mint instead. Chewing gum can help to relieve your stress and also trick your tastebuds into thinking that you are indulging during the holiday celebrations.
Also, keep healthier treats in the cupboard and fridge, such as jerky, raw vegetables, and other fresh foods that you enjoy eating.
Find an Accountability Buddy
If you have a hard time with self-control during the holidays, then look for a friend or family member who is also wanting to stick with their health goals this season. Having an accountability buddy is a great way to avoid slip-ups because you will have to report back during your check-ins. Many people find that they think twice before eating treats or missing a workout when they need to share their progress with an accountability partner.
Choose your priorities during the holiday season, then tell your accountability buddy what you are committing to. Keep it simple so you don’t overcomplicate things. For example, your health goals might be to exercise 4x per week and avoid processed sugar on the weekdays.
Prioritize Your Workouts
Don’t let your fitness schedule fall through the cracks! No matter what you are doing to celebrate the holidays, make sure you are always incorporating movement. Exercise can be as simple as taking a walk during your lunch break at work, or getting up a little earlier so you can go to the gym before your day starts.
In addition to burning calories, exercise is also an effective way to boost your energy so you can participate in all of the fun Halloween activities that are happening this season. Plus, you’ll feel more confident about your appearance, which helps you feel better in the costume that you wear to parties.
If you are looking for a place to work out during the holiday season (and beyond), then join Fitness Nation today. We help you stay consistent with your health goals at a fun fitness center that has all of the weights and equipment that you need.