Adhering to your food and fitness routine over the holidays can be challenging, rewarding, stressful, easy, or a combination of all of the above. It can be challenging because you have more family in town and there are more festivities going on. It can be rewarding because you're adhering to your workout frequency, nutrition plan, and your goals. It can be stressful because there's more meals away from home, you are on someone else's timeline, and you are out of your routine. It can be easy because you have more time off from work making working out more doable or there is more time to cook at home. You may relate to some or all of these examples, but regardless, there's a sense of uneasiness when it comes to adhering to your routine over the holidays. "What's the right thing to do?" "When am I going to find the time?" "Will it be easier to workout in the morning or evening?" "What if I miss my workout?" "What happens if I ignore my hunger cues?" There's no best answer to these questions. It depends on the person. Some people do better saying yes to more cookies than usual. Some people do better refraining from going ham on the sweets. Some people do better reducing workout frequency during the holidays. Some people do better maintaining workout frequency during the holidays. Ask yourself the following questions when choosing what would be best for you over these next couple weeks (and in the future): - Are there foods I'd like to eat that are only available this time of year? (i.e., my mom's Christmas cookies) - How will the amount of food and type of food eaten make me feel? - Will I honor my hunger cues and/or give myself permission to eat as I please, guilt-free? - Will maintaining, reducing, or increasing my workout frequency over the next couple weeks be stressful or stress relieving? - Will my choices with food and exercise alter the trajectory of my goals and long-term adherence? Ultimately, you will want to make the choice that will not add stress. If working out more is adding stress, reduce your frequency. If saying yes to more desserts is adding stress, eat less dessert. Each person needs to make their own individual opinion without guilt. And remember, whatever choice you make for you and your health does not mean that your sister, brother, mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandma, or grandpa need to do the same. You also don't owe anyone any explanations for your choices. Enjoy your way!
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