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How to get back on track after the holidays

Indulging in a few favorite treats around the holidays is something that we all do, but sometimes it seems like a never-ending parade of temptations and that can leave you feeling like your resolve is constantly being tested. These regular indulgences can make it hard to get back to the routine of eating balanced meals and exercising regularly. If you are looking to get back on track in the New Year, here are some tips to help you turn the page:

  1. Slowly begin to incorporate the healthy parts of your usual routine, one step at a time.  Trying to do too much, too soon can lead to frustration, so think baby steps here. Maybe you start by packing your own snacks to take to work so that you’re not tempted by the late afternoon munchies and hit the vending machine for candy or chips. Or maybe you bring lunch from home to avoid ordering out.
  2. Schedule your exercise and your meals. Put exercise on your calendar as an appointment you keep with yourself.  Plan what workout you will do and for how long.  Plan out your meals in advance so you know what’s for dinner when you finish work and are less likely to call for take-out.
  3. Make half of your plate vegetables. Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and green beans are high in fiber which will help to fill you up, without filling you out.  Roasting vegetables on a sheet pan with a little olive oil and serving them alongside lunch and dinner is a great tasty way to meet your daily quota.
  4. Try some new recipes, making it a point to cook and eat more meals at home. Not only will this save money, but preparing your own meals allows you to control what goes into them.  Think about meals that feature lean protein, vegetables and whole grains.  Maybe a chicken stir-fry with lots of vegetables served over brown rice or a black bean chili with tri-colored peppers, tomatoes and wheatberries.
  5. Drink lots of water. We often mistake thirst for hunger and that can bring on more calories in the form of mindless snacking. Aim for 64 ounces of water per day; herbal tea and seltzer water count toward that total.
  6. Reduce alcohol consumption. Not only is alcohol full of empty calories, it also weakens your resolve to avoid high calorie temptations. 
  7. Enlist support. Let your friends and family know that you’re getting back on track.  Find an accountability buddy, someone who will support and encourage you to make healthy food choices or exercise with you. Letting others know your goals will make you more likely to stick to them. 

Let the Registered Dietitians at Waverley Oaks Athletic Club help you get back on track after the holidays. We can work with you to create a realistic, sustainable plan that will allow you to reach your health and fitness goals while offering support and accountability. For more information or to make an appointment for an individual consultation contact nutrition@waverleyoaks.com.

Content submitted by Janyce Gately MS, RD, LDN, CHC