Thanksgiving is almost here! Perhaps you’re even reading this next week after the huge, delicious dinner and dessert from the night before. Regardless, I know how you feel – the post-Thanksgiving struggle is real! And speaking of struggles, the struggle is just as constant for me when it comes to staying in a healthy routine, especially after a season of eating and drinking. However, when it comes to overall health and wellness I am all about balance and moderation. I don’t believe in restriction or trying to make major changes to your health and fitness all at once.
Oftentimes, it just leads to stress, failure, and guilt. Therefore, the best piece of advice I can give you this holiday season is to make small changes that’ll have a positive impact on your health. Plus, it will help you to finally create a sustainable routine! With that, here are my top 5 simple ways to get back into a healthy routine. These tips are perfect for those struggling with a plateau or after a month-long of eating and drinking all of your favorites!
1. Focus on one meal at a time
Although I am a huge fan of meal prepping, I know that many people can become very intimated by it. Especially around this time of the year when everyone’s schedules are at their busiest and filled up to the max. Therefore, when Sunday rolls around each week and you’re thinking about all of the other things you have to prepare for, most of the time meal-prepping gets pushed to the bottom of your to-do list. Perhaps it’s because of the long hours that meal prepping sometimes endures, which nonetheless, tends to overwhelm many people.
With that, to avoid becoming overwhelmed, I think the best thing you can do when trying to get back into a healthy routine is to focus on one meal at a time. For example, try focusing on just breakfast for the first week back into your healthy routine. And make it simple! Overnight oats, an easy spinach omelet, or even a healthy on-the-go smoothie! This way you don’t have to worry or stress about making a ton of food in advance for the entire week.
You’ll still feel accomplished and you’ll be on track to a much healthier lifestyle than if you were to throw in the towel altogether. Plus, starting the day off in a healthy way (i.e: a healthy breakfast) sets a successful and health-conscious tone for the rest of the day!
2. Add more movement
Any type of movement is better than nothing, especially after going days or weeks without any type of exercise at all. So with that, don’t stress yourself out this holiday season by making internal empty promises. For example, if you haven’t workout in weeks but you tell yourself that you want to start exercising 6 days a week or more, you may just be setting yourself up for failure. Especially if you don’t find exercising enjoyable or if you already know that your schedule is too busy for that.
Therefore, instead of over-promising yourself, start by simply walking during your lunch break or taking the dog for a walk. Something simple (and enjoyable) that you won’t want to skip out on, but also makes you feel like you’re making process towards your health and fitness goals!
Start small and try incorporating healthy habits into your everyday work or school routine.
3. Limit your alcohol intake
One of the best ways to get back into a healthy routine is by limiting the happy hours and glasses of wine in the evening throughout the week. I know it can be difficult at times, particularly now around the holidays when friends, co-workers, and family members are egging you on. However, to get into a new routine, use the time you’d usually spend going out for drinks to go to a gym or to go home and make yourself a healthy dinner instead.
This might feel like a major sacrifice, so to avoid feeling like there’s too much change too fast, don’t go cold turkey. If you usually hit up happy hour after work three times a week, cut down to two and see how the change starts to feel. Or you could even try out these low-calorie alcohol drink ideas instead. That way you can keep it light while still being able to go out with your friends or family.
I’m all about balance and moderation – never restriction!
4. Find friends to help motivate you
Some people prefer to workout solo, however, I find it 10x more helpful when I have a friend, or fellow workout buddy, to help keep me accountable and vice versa. Having a friend or significant other by your side really helps to make the workouts more enjoyable and easier all around. Not to mention, when the motivation is lacking, having someone to help keep me motivated is a major plus!
Try syncing your schedules together that way you have to actually meet each other at the gym, rely on each other, and commit to regular attendance.
5. Stop the stress and give yourself some grace
I mentioned this in a recent email to my subscribers, but I definitely want to mention it here as well because it is very important! One of the simplest ways to get back into a healthy routine is to give yourself grace while maintaining your healthy habits. This time of year is busy for everyone. With that, there might be days, weeks, or even months where you can’t get your workout in, you aren’t able to meal prep, and/or you can’t be as consistent with your diet as you would like to be. And that is okay!
Often times we can be unforgiving to ourselves when we don’t “hit the mark.” But why are we putting a standard on ourselves anyway? Why do we place such perfectionistic burdens on ourselves? This season, don’t worry so much about eating perfectly and having perfect gym attendance.
Grace will carry you much further than restriction ever will!
Let that sink in. There’s a difference between restriction and discipline. Discipline keeps you moving forward even when you don’t do everything “perfectly.” Restriction stops your progress by making you feel guilty when you don’t do everything “perfectly.” So this season, give yourself grace and move forward with discipline, not restriction!
In those moments where you may feel guilty or bad about your current (or lack of) health and fitness routine, you need to start talking to yourself instead of listening to yourself. Sometimes when you’re listening to yourself, it’s just a bunch of lies that you’re hearing. You instead need to tell yourself the truth. Keep going, keep moving forward, and remember to give yourself grace. Don’t allow your little mess-ups to mess you up. Even if they are big mess-ups. Don’t let these mess-ups or bumps in the road keep you down.
Give. yourself. grace.
Continue to be disciplined and continue to keep up with your healthy habits. When those little, or big, mess-ups happen, don’t let them stop your progress. Yeah, there are days, weeks, or maybe even months where you might fall off the wagon, but that’s okay. This is just a season of your life right now. It will pass. Continue to love yourself and give yourself grace.
All and all, don’t worry so much about eating perfectly and having perfect gym attendance. Simply show up every single day to keep your healthy habits alive. Whether you do a little workout at your house or drive to a gym. It’s not about what you do it’s a matter of doing it – whatever it is.
So enjoy your favorite holiday peppermint mocha or hot chocolate and SMASH your workout session later that evening. Wake up early and go for a run (indoors or outdoors) and then laugh with your friends while you eat cookies and watch holiday movies later on that night. This life is about balance so let’s start living like it!
Grace + discipline = freedom.
Trust me, it carries you so much further in life than restriction ever could.
What are your tips for getting back into a healthy routine after the holidays?
Remember to practice balance and have fun this holiday season! 💛