Staying in shape during the holiday season may seem impossible because of an abundance of great food and the comfort of being dormant at home. It’s not uncommon to gain a few extra pounds from the holiday festivities. However, with a little dedication and discipline, it’s not impossible to ward off those extra holiday pounds.
Since most of our time is spent at work, here are some pointers that will show you how to stay in shape at work during the holiday season.
1. Drink a Cup of Coffee in the Morning
Most of us start our day with a cup of coffee already, but did you know that black coffee, without all the extra creamer and sugar, may curb cravings? Drinking a cup of coffee not only helps improve concentration and focus, but it can also help keep off extra pounds gained from dessert by curbing our sugar cravings. Remember though that coffee should never replace breakfast, as it is important to eat a healthy and balanced breakfast to start the day properly with energy and nutrition. Also, coffee still contains caffeine, so it is important to limit your coffee intake to 1-2 cups a day.
2. Walk Around As Much As You Can
It doesn’t matter whether you walk around in circles around your office building, outside on the sidewalk, or even pace inside the lobby! As long as you are moving around, you are helping your body improve through exercise. Fifteen minutes of walking is not only easy to do during a break, but very realistic for most of us who work in an office. Therefore, no excuses! By exercising 15 minutes in the morning, and 15 minutes in the afternoon, you’ve already acquired 30 minutes of light to moderate exercise in a day – a feat not to be laughed at for all those who dread hearing the word “gym.”
3. Don’t Keep Grazing at Holiday Parties
This one is a little tough for me personally but I’m going to try my best this holiday season. If there is a holiday party at work, don’t make the food table your best friend. I know, I know, I also love walking past the food more than once…..seeing the food just makes me happy. However, fill up your plate once and be done with it! No second rounds. This will help save you the “I-shouldn’t-have-had-this-extra-donut-ugh-all-these-calories-argh” regret later.
4. Keep Hydrated at Work
How many of us are drinking the 8 cups of water a day recommendation? If you aren’t already, how about trying to make it an early New Year’s Resolution? Staying properly hydrated with water is important because it’s easy to confuse hunger for thirst. By drinking plenty of water, your body will be properly satiated and you won’t need to reach for a snack as often. Also, water is great for your skin, which can easily become dry in an office environment. There are so many benefits of drinking water in addition to those listed above, so keep a liter of water at your desk so you’ll be sure to reach for the drink.
5. Don’t Drive Yourself (and All Your Coworkers) Crazy
The holiday season only comes around once a year, so if you are looking forward to your coworker’s famous pecan pie that she only brings in for the office Thanksgiving party, don’t miss out. It is far better to indulge in an occasional, well-portioned treat than to be cranky and moody towards yourself and everyone sitting around you for not being able to enjoy your treat. (The opposite holds true too: don’t be cranky and moody if you DO have a treat!) Plus, going crazy worrying about “dieting” and “saying no to everything that has sugar” in it, might be counter-effective in the long-run if you cave in later and overindulge.
This may sound cheesy but the best way to stay in shape at work during the holiday season is really to have a healthy attitude. Don’t berate yourself if you have a treat but don’t overindulge and regret everything later either. Remember, everything in proportion and balance is key to being happy and healthy, both physically and mentally. And once again, don’t forget to drink water, and walk, walk, walk!
Stay happy and healthy this Holiday Season!