Most people think the holiday season is when everyone starts to let the healthy habits slip away. It actually starts way before that, around this time of year when the first cold day hits. You don’t want to get out of bed in the morning because it’s dark and cold. You desperately have to pee, but you hold it until the last possible second and run into the bathroom, and then literally dive back into your nice warm bed. All you want to do is snuggle way below the warmest blankets and watch Downton Abbey for hours on end. (maybe that’s just me)
You were so active this summer doing all kinds of fun outdoor activities, and you still had energy to get to the gym early in the morning when it was bright and sunny. You grilled every week and ate salads, and went for walks outside on your lunch break. Just because it’s too cold for that stuff, doesn’t mean you have to kiss your healthy lifestyle goodbye!
It’s definitely more difficult in the colder months, but it can be done. Here’s how:
1. Mind over matter
When your alarm goes off in the morning, talk yourself into getting up. Imagine the little devil and angel on your shoulders. Don’t listen to the devil who wants you to stay in bed! Remind yourself that it only takes a few minutes of being cold before you’re sweating it out at the gym.
2. Healthy comfort food
You can still make your favorite fall recipes, just look for the healthier versions. For example, you can make chicken pot pie without a bottom crust, so you’re only eating half the crust and half the calories. Or try my butternut squash soup for a filling healthy meal that will warm you up!
3. Hunger vs. boredom
Since you’re not as active this time of year, you’re not burning as many calories which means you don’t need to eat as much. You’re also more likely to eat out of boredom. Pay attention to when you’re hungry versus when you’re just bored, and if boredom is the case, make some tea or find something else to keep you distracted from food.
4. Stay active
As an addendum to the previous tip, try to be as active as possible. Get to the gym when you can. Try Bikram Yoga to warm up your body and have a good stretch. If it’s just too cold to leave your house, try a workout video. If you don’t own any, try bodyrock.tv for some 4 minute workouts! During the workday, be sure to get up from your desk often and just do a lap around the office. Try these desk workouts if you can’t make it to the gym.
5. Stay happy
If you follow these tips, you will achieve this last one. If you’re not healthy, you’re not happy. It’s easy to let yourself get lazy and hibernate until spring, but if you stay on top of things you’ll feel 100% all the time, and that’s worth getting up in the morning.