As endurance athletes, we tend to be highly driven and motivated individuals who struggle to take a break. The holidays present a challenge, because we usually want to not completely derail our training and healthy eating but we know it's also a great time for a much-needed break to focus on other things -- family, friends, and good food! Our team put together a list of our top tips for "staying on track" this holiday season. That can mean whatever you want it to -- so take these tips and apply them to your own situation and most importantly, enjoy this time of year and know that your fitness can always come back if it disappears for a bit ;)
We all know that being hungry and a table full of delicious food can be a dangerous combo. We recommend eating a bit ahead of time so you're less inclined to stock up on unhealthy options. Pre-party noshes that make the ideal snack include: protein shake, an apple with a little almond butter, raw veggies with hummus or a small handful of trail mix! The key here is to include protein. Since protein takes longer to digest, it’s more satiating than a starchier snack. This means, you’ll be able to focus on your friends and not the buffet table.
You're most likely to not skip out on a workout if someone is holding you accountable. Planning workouts with friends and family is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. You may need to adjust your paces, distance, or expectations of the workout -- but if it's the difference between getting a workout in or not, it's the better option.
Make sure you are getting enough fluids this season which can be hard to remember when it is cold outside. Aim for about half your body weight in ounces which will help prevent headaches, hangovers and allow you to recognize if you are actually just hungry and not thirsty.
If you're traveling, planning ahead can make all the difference. Take some time to figure out what your options are so you're ready for anything. Just a few ideas:
We all know sleep and feeling good go hand in hand. Lack of sleep changes the way your hunger hormones are secreted in the body which can lead to mindless and increased eating. Leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full, decreases and ghrelin, the hormone that makes you feel hungry, increases. Since the holiday season is a time where an excess of food and sweets are around, it is important for you to have proper regulation of your hunger and it starts with making sure you are getting enough sleep.