Thanksgiving Day is almost here and the holiday season will officially start. It will usher in a litany of bountiful meals, potlucks, and holiday goodies. With much shopping and decorating to do and with food abounding, people often set aside their diet plans and exercise regimens during the holiday season with the promise of starting over in the coming year. Once the new year hits, however, it can be challenging and discouraging to shed those extra pounds.

stay-in-shape-during-the-holidays

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. People can enjoy everything the holiday season brings, including the food and the parties, without sacrificing their diet and exercise routines. Having the best of both worlds is still possible with the use of some planning and discipline.

Set Your Goals

Examine your health priorities and determine what you want to accomplish during the season. Don’t set unreasonable goals. Be realistic and give yourself some extra room to indulge once in a while, but be prepared to partake of food and parties in moderation.

Plan Ahead

If your holiday is loaded with party invitations, carefully decide which parties you will be attending and schedule workouts around them. Be disciplined enough to refuse a party invite if it interferes with your workout schedule. You should also set a smart limit on how long you will be staying. Remember that you will need a good night’s sleep the night before a scheduled workout.

Eat Healthy

It’s hard to eat right when you are surrounded by tasty food offerings. Be selective in what you eat. Be mindful that you will need a lot of protein if you are working out. Bulk up on protein and go easy on carbohydrates. You can enjoy the dinner spread by exercising moderation. Stick to small portions and avoid going back for seconds. Eat slowly. If you are out to eat, portion off a reasonable amount of food before you start eating and ask to take the rest home for later. If it’s tucked away in a take-home box, you’ll be less likely to nibble at it while you talk.

Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is full of calories and can also affect your performance. You can enjoy the company of family members and friends without getting tipsy.

Stick to Your Workout Schedule

Plan your workout in advance and do not deviate from it. Commit to work out with a friend. You’ll be much more likely to get to the gym if you know someone is waiting there for you.

If you set your goals early and adhere to them, you can enjoy the holiday the season without regrets later.