It’s no secret that in the past few months I’ve gotten serious about my health. Back in May of this year, I decided that some changes needed to be made in order for me to feel better, look better and live my best life. By making tweaks to my daily routine and completely rethinking the way that I eat, I’ve been able to lose 45 pounds. However, I’ll be honest and say that the holiday season has always been a time when I struggle to stay on track with my healthy living goals. Since I’ve been determined this holiday season that I will not let that pecan pie or sweet potato casserole sabotage all my hard work, I thought it was only fair that I share my dos and don’ts and secret weapons (they’re crazy tasty y’all!) that are helping me avoid holiday weight gain so that I can start the new year as the me that I want to be.
I’ll be honest….for me staying on track during the “normal” times of the year isn’t hard. Thankfully I’ve got pretty good willpower and I’m able to keep my eyes on the prize (which for me happens to be fitting in my skinny jeans). However, the holiday season is a whole different beast. There are parties. And family gatherings. And food, like, everywhere. Are you nodding along yet? It seems like just when I think I have my healthy living goals figured out….BAM, here comes the holiday season with it’s ooey, gooey goodies and cookie swaps galore. That’s why this year I implemented some simple dos and don’ts that are helping me to beat my cravings, stay on track with my wellness goals and still fit into my skinny jeans come January 1st. For those of you like me who are determined to beat the holiday cravings and feel fabulous about the choices you make, read on to find out my tips for success.
Do Set Realistic Holiday Goals
The holidays can be a difficult time when it comes to sticking to your wellness goals. In the past, I’ve gotten so discouraged because it seems like during the holiday season, there isn’t time for me to make my fitness a priority. This frustration has often turned into my totally abandoning my goals and expectations and thinking that I’ll just get back on track in January. Listen to me….don’t do this! It doesn’t work and come January it will just be that much harder when you realize how far you strayed.
Instead, try joining me in setting realistic holiday goals this year. Realize that there might not be gym or exercise time every single day and that it’s OK (and actually good) to take some time off to spend with family and friends. My goals this holiday season are to maintain my weight range (yes, I have a 5 pound range that I fluctuate in) and exercise for at least 30 minutes five days a week. Whether you want to maintain your weight, build muscle or simply make sure those holiday outfits look fab on you, sit down and think about your goals for the holiday season and make sure you’ve very clear with YOURSELF about what you hope the coming weeks will look like for you.
Do Stock Your Pantry with High-Protein Snack Options
While setting realistic goals is a great place for me to start when it comes to avoiding holiday weight gain, making sure that I have high-protein snacks that feel like a treat on hand when I need a snack is even more important. I’m a snacker and during the holiday season when food is everywhere, I need ways to avoid temptation while still feeling like I’m treating myself. That’s why my pantry is stocked full of high-protein, amazing tasting Optimum Nutrition snacks from Walmart! If you think you can’t have amazing tasting snacks for after your workout or when you simply need something to hold you over and help you avoid temptation, you’re wrong! My absolute go-do this holiday season is Optimum Nutrition Protein Almonds. With the option of Dark Chocolate Truffle or Cinnamon Roll, these almonds reimagined are a perfect way to combat cravings and boost my protein intake to help me feel full longer.
These delicious coated almonds (seriously, you’re going to LOVE the Dark Chocolate Truffle ones) have two times the protein of regular coated almonds and are dipped in a whey enriched confection coating and dusted with cocoa. Sounds decadent right? The best part is, each serving (there’s 3 servings a bag so I just keep one in the house and one in my car) provides 10 grams of protein! Plus, they totally taste like a treat and are the indulgence that I can feel fabulous about every day!
My Optimum Nutrition Protein Almonds are my first line of defense against poor eating choices during the holiday season, followed closely by Optimum Nutrition Protein Crisps. These deliciously crispy and delicate bars are perfect for throwing in my gym bag or my lunchbox and have a crispy texture that is always satisfying and tastes like a total treat!
With 20 grams of protein per bar and flavors like Peanut Butter Crunch and Salted Toffee Pretzel (YUM!), this is my go-to post workout snack that satisfies my sweet tooth and helps me make choices that I can feel great about.
Having these snacking and post-workout choices on hand ensures that when temptation strikes, I have a better (and better tasting) option that won’t leave me feeling like I strayed from my healthy living goals.
Don’t Abandon Your Fitness Routine
I know the holidays are busy. I know the kids are out of school. I KNOW it can feel impossible to find time to work in time for fitness but please listen to me when I say make it a priority. Yes, you may have to adjust the way you think about your workouts. When the kids are out of school, try finding ways to work in exercise that you can all do together. Go bowling. Hit a trampoline park (you can burn some major calories jumping!). If you’re home-bound with a snow storm (or a house full of guests), try looking up aerobic workouts on your computer. One of my biggest fitness tricks during the holiday season is streaming working videos on our smart TV. I can get up a little early while the kids are still sleeping and get a 30 minute workout in that sets me up for success the rest of the day.
I know there will be days when I can’t get all the exercise I would like to but by finding ways to fit in what I can and do SOMETHING every day, I’m much more likely to stay on track.
Don’t Get Derailed by Cravings
While all my dos and don’ts above are essential in helping me to stay on track, I have one final tip and that is to avoid getting derailed by holiday cravings. Trust me when I say I know how hard it is to say no to grandma’s pie or mom’s cookies but when I have a substitution on hand that actually tastes like an indulgence it’s much easier! That’s why Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites accompany me to all of my holiday gatherings!
These delicious whipped cakes in flavors like birthday cake, red velvet, chocolate frosted donut and peanut butter chocolate are the perfect sweet treat that are packed with protein to help me feel full and say not to other temptations. They come in packs of 3 delicious little cakes that totally taste like a treat while packing 20 grams of protein. While they are a totally amazing guilt-free treat after the gym, these Cake Bites have become my first line of defense against over-indulging at holiday celebrations.
I can snack away and enjoy my treat without all the guilt. This means that at the end of the holiday season, I won’t be feeling like it’s time to get back on track but instead will be enjoying the fact that I’ve got a jump start on all my new year’s wellness goals.
With these simple dos and don’ts and a little help from the on-the-go snacking sweetness of Optimum Nutrition from Walmart, this year I’m worrying less about getting off track with my wellness goals and focusing instead on enjoying the moment, with delicious Optimum Nutrition products in hand of course!
If you’re looking for the perfect way to treat yourself while avoiding the holiday weight gain that can so often happen, start by heading to Walmart today to stock up on all of these amazing Optimum Nutrition products for everyday low prices. Then throw Optimum Nutrition Protein Crisps in your gym bag. Put a bag of Optimum Nutrition Protein Almonds in the snack section of your pantry. Take along Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites to your holiday gatherings. And through it all, feel great knowing that you’re snacking on protein-packed items that taste amazing and support your fitness goals all season long.
Now tell me, which of the Optimum Nutrition products from Walmart will you be enjoying guilt-free this holiday season?