10 Things You Can Do Before Thanksgiving to Stay Fit for the Whole Holiday Season from 10 Things You Can Do Before Thanksgiving to Stay Fit for the Whole Holiday Season

10 Things You Can Do Before Thanksgiving to Stay Fit for the Whole Holiday Season

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10 Things You Can Do Before Thanksgiving to Stay Fit for the Whole Holiday Season

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Thanksgiving is just the beginning of the holiday season. Parties and dinners with large meals, tasty treats and high-calorie cocktails are just a few temptations that you have to watch out for.

The first step towards staying fit over the holidays is to make a list of your short and long term goals. Begin thinking about where you want to be by January, then 6 months and 1 year from now. Michelle Roots, resident fitness expert and trainer for Trainerize, says that you should “set realistic goals around performance or inches and try not to worry too much about the scale.”

*Related: 10 Thanksgiving Foods That Are Actually Good for You

It’s also important to educate yourself about nutrition; learn about how to eat healthier and reach your fitness goals, Roots says. Instead of eating junk and processed items, consider foods with “superpowers,” that have the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs.

Write down some short term and long term goals

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Start thinking about where you want to be by January and then 6 months, and 1 year from now. “Set realistic goals around performance or inches and try not to worry too much about the scale,” Michelle Roots, resident fitness expert and trainer for Trainerize, says. Choose an outfit you would love to wear on Christmas day that might be a bit tight right now, and then set your goal to work hard and look amazing in that dress, she adds.

Start eating clean and learn more about nutrition

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“Either consult a nutrition coach or do your own research about how to eat healthier to reach your weight loss or fitness goals,” Roots says. “This doesn't have to mean a ‘diet,’ this just means learning how to live a healthier lifestyle while not feeling deprived or starving.”

Start researching local gyms who might be having "Black Friday" or end of the year sales

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“Getting into the habit of exercising before January will help you not only feel great throughout the holidays, but you will be that much further ahead than the rest of the "resolutioners" packing into the gym in January.” You might also get lucky and find a good deal on a membership with holiday sales.

Begin building your support system

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“Start talking to people in your close circle or share on social media about your goals,” Roots explains. It is a great motivation and “you will be surprised with how many people will have your back and might hop on the band wagon with you,” she adds.

Research healthier holiday recipes

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Begin researching healthier options to traditional holiday recipes to make for your family and friends in order to spread the health around, Roots says. “Most healthier alternatives still taste so good that many people wouldn't even know they are good for you.”

Challenge yourself by picking a certain number of workouts you want to complete by Jan 1, 2017

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Roots says that “this will help you stay on track and motivated to continue working out over the holidays.” Just make sure that the number of workouts is realistic and aim to complete around 3-5 workouts per week, she adds.

Eat before you go to holiday parties to prevent binging on the appetizer table

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We all know holiday parties are filled with good (but not healthy) snack foods – dips, beverages, and desserts, Roots says. Avoid doing too much damage by making sure you that you don’t go to these parties hungry. “Eat something at home before you go and then just treat yourself to a few small treats while at the party,” she adds.

Try to get friends and family involved

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“Instead of going for dinners and coffee dates with friends and family members, invite them to go for a walk or to a group fitness class with you, Roots says. “This is a great way to stay active over the holidays and still get to socialize and have fun!”

Begin to get rid of all the junk food and processed food in the house

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Roots says that “this is a great time to clear out the kitchen cupboards in order to avoid any type of temptation of cookies, chips, and unhealthy processed foods.” Instead of throwing them away, think about donating these foods (non-perishable, of course) to your local food bank, so everyone wins, she adds.

Begin tracking your food intake each day

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According to Roots, tracking your food is “one of the best ways to hold yourself accountable to what you put in your mouth each day; however, still make sure you allow yourself the ability to enjoy all the good food the holidays have to offer, just in moderation!” Roots explains that you can “allow yourself 1-2 cheat meals each week to really enjoy some good food and good company, but be sure to get back on track right after.” Remember it’s a cheat MEAL, not a cheat day. “If you are going to a dinner party at night, get a good workout in that morning and eat healthy for the rest of the day to reduce any damage done,” she adds.