Élan Strong Fitness

with Élan McAfee, CPT
Personal Training and Fitness Consultation

* One-on-one training through the Hot Springs YMCA

* Online coaching through Fitocracy

Choose the style of personal training you prefer to meet your individual needs.


Tips to Stay on Track Through the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, and this is one of the most difficult times of the year to stay on track with your workouts and diet. In the whirlwind of travel, house guests, crowds, and, of course, elaborate meal preparation and spreads, the temptation to veer off of your course is ever-present. This special time doesn't have to spell health and fitness disaster, however; try some of these helpful tips to stay motivated and prevent weight gain:

Say No to Snacks and Beverages

If we were just dealing with a couple of decadent meals, the holidays wouldn't have such a bad reputation for packing on pounds and derailing workout routines. With family and friends around for long periods of time, there's going to be stuff to nibble on and drinks available to contribute to the festive mood. Unfortunately, appetizers and cocktails like egg-nog often contain more calories than the actual meal, so just say no, and you will have won half the battle. Drink plenty of water to create a feeling of fullness, and head for the vegetable platter if you really need something to stave off hunger before the main course.

Sensible Choices and Moderation

You've been making healthy food choices since you started your fitness journey, so you know a bit about which foods fit your nutrition plan and which don't. Fortunately, not everything on the table is counterproductive to your goals. Lean turkey and ham are great sources of low-calorie protein, especially if you forego the gravy and glazes. Identify the healthiest items and let them comprise 75% of your plate, then let yourself indulge in moderation with the other 25% on the food items you associate with the time of year most, so you aren't tempted to binge on them later.

Remember New Year's is Just Around the Corner

Don't let the hustle and bustle of the holidays distract you from your goals. You've been working hard, and the results are beginning to show. Soon, everyone else around you will be on board with getting in shape and losing weight as part of New Year's resolutions, but you're already ahead of the game. If you feel tempted to skip a workout or eat a piece of pecan pie, try reviewing your progress to see how far you've already come and envision where you will be in the future.