Navigating the Holidays

There are 52 days left until the end of the year. For the purpose of our topic today, we’ll refer to those 52 days as the “holiday season.” 

Historically speaking, the holiday season is a time when it can be challenging to stay on track with your nutrition and fitness goals. There is leftover Halloween candy around the house, Thanksgiving dinner is around the corner, and then you have holiday parties and all sorts of dinners spread throughout the end of the year. 

There will probably be more drinking than usual, more sweet treats than expected, and less control over the foods you usually have access to. You will also likely have less free time and flexibility to stick to your fitness routine. 

All this creates the perfect storm for many people to throw their hands up and put off the pursuit of their fitness, nutrition, and health goals until the New Year. 

However, there is a deep flaw with taking this kind of approach. You may not be able to make significant progress towards your goals in just 52 days, but you can take a considerable number of steps backward in that same period. 

If you completely let yourself go between now and the New Year, it will take at least twice as long to work to where you are now. 

A better way to approach the holiday season is to take a step back and realize that Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, only make up less than 10% of the entire holiday season. 

So even if you enjoy all the cookies, desserts, drinks, and leftovers on those five days alone, you could still stay on track for over 90% of the entire season. If you can do that, you won’t just prevent yourself from taking steps backward. By staying on track for 90% of the holiday season, you can actually make significant progress toward your goals over the next two months.


The 90/10 Commitment. 

Open your calendar and pick FIVE days over the next two months to set as “free pass” days. On those days, allow yourself to indulge in whatever food and drink you like (drink responsibly, of course). Have the cookies, the extra slice of pie, or the extra cocktail. Enjoy sharing those meals with friends and family without worrying about how those decisions impact your goals.

For the other 47 days, commit to three balanced meals containing lean protein and one snack per day. Avoid highly processed foods, and make sure you are hydrating adequately. Keep it simple, but do not waver on food quality and appropriate serving sizes. 

Make sure to get at least 30 minutes of movement over these 52 days. 

If you stick to this 90/10 commitment over the holiday season, you may actually surprise yourself with how much you progress towards your goals.

Coach Krista