Editor’s Note: Due to COVID-19, please ensure you follow the advice of public health professionals at all times. Gather safely and adhere to outlined social measures over the holiday period.
The holidays are a wonderful time of year to have a break, connect with loved ones, and indulge in all the delicious food coming your way. These healthy holiday tips from Tonal’s coaches will show you how to treasure all the festivities without feeling miserable about it come January.
Tonal Coaches Healthy Holiday Tips Cheat Sheet
Before we dive into each Tonal coach’s individual tips, here’s their cheat sheet with five healthy holiday tips to keep top of mind to feel your strongest.
- Make time for yourself and your movement, but make it fun and take advantage of having a Tonal at home — get in a quick workout (or a longer one) whenever the occasion arises.
- Stay hydrated! A lot of people forget about this over the holidays, but all the coaches agree, it’s essential.
- Tuck into those treats but make time to enjoy nutrient-dense food like veggies, healthy carbs, and protein too.
- Remember to chew because this will aid in better digestion and leave you feeling less sluggish after your meals.
- Enjoy your food over the holidays, and don’t beat yourself up about it.
COACH NICOLETTE’S HOLIDAY TIPS
Coach Nicolette shares the love (and health) over the holidays by bringing her favorite meals to gatherings and working out because it makes her feel strong. “Allow your meals to be a positive and joyful experience.”
- Enjoy your workouts: Try not to think of your Tonal workouts as a punishment or compensation for food you have enjoyed or will enjoy! Work out with us on Tonal because it gives you energy, makes you feel powerful, and keeps you pain-free!
- Eat well: Before gatherings, make sure you have supplied your body with food that makes you feel good. Don’t show up starving. Show up hydrated and satiated, but ready to enjoy food, drinks, and time with family and friends.
- Share your favorite dishes: I find it helpful to bring dishes to gatherings that I love and feel good eating. So, if you’re worried about what others will be cooking, make the recipes you like and share them with loved ones.
Tonal Holiday Hack: Working out over the holidays doesn’t have to be especially hardcore, nor should it be. You’ll find lots of fun ways to move your body with Tonal. Try Dance Cardio, Boxing, and Pilates beginner level workouts, and then go ahead and get cozy on that couch again.
COACH JARED’S HOLIDAY TIPS
Coach Jared rocks the holidays by enjoying the festive atmosphere, indulging in his grandma’s cooked treats, and by making time to move his body. “My holiday food rule is to stay hydrated and eat anything you want but don’t overeat. Stuffing myself, feeling like crap, regretting this or that is non-negotiable — I don’t do it.”
- Plan your workouts: We all know we feel better after we finish our workout, so why do we take our foot off the gas and tell ourselves that we’ll just do it in the new year? I think it’s easy to get distracted (and even lazy) during December. To help with that, make a plan. Schedule workouts into your days, ideally in the morning. Training for at least 25 minutes, four days a week will keep your movement goals on track.
- Eat until you are full: I’m half Mexican, and my grandma makes the most delicious and irresistible homemade Christmas tamales and sweets treats, and I enjoy them. I pile on the sour cream and cheese and even enjoy my favorite tequila cocktail. I get down. The difference is, I’m willing to leave food on my plate when feeling full and think twice about having another brownie if my belly has had enough. This way I feel good, and there are plenty of leftovers to enjoy the day after.
- Check-in with yourself: Did you know that late-night cravings are often your body mistaking hunger for thirst? Taking a moment to truly ask yourself if you’re truly hungry, and then responding honestly can often eliminate cravings.
COACH NATALIE’S HOLIDAY TIPS
Coach Natalie recommends applying principles from Intuitive Eating during the holidays (and every other day of the year!)
- Honor your hunger and feel your fullness: During the holidays, eat when you’re hungry, and listen to your body’s cues as you become full. Don’t go most of the day without eating to save up for that one big official meal of the day. Eat as you would any other day, paying close attention to when you’re truly hungry, thirsty, and satisfied, and you’ll feel better from day-to-day.
- Challenge the food police: Work on disassociating a moral judgment on food and ask yourself questions as to why you might categorize food in that way. Whether others are passing judgment on your food choices, or that voice in your head is — challenge that line of thinking.
- Make peace with food: Don’t indulge because you’ve made some conditional pact with yourself to deprive your body later. Permit yourself to enjoy the foods that accompany the holidays without the anticipation of food restriction in January. Studies show that just the anticipation of starting a diet or food restriction is enough to lead to overeating. Stop threatening yourself with future punishment and be fully aware of the present moment.
COACH FRANCES’ HOLIDAY TIPS
For Coach Frances, the holidays are the perfect time to do things a little bit differently, enjoy a different pace of life, and have fun in the snow in an active way. “My biggest healthy holiday tips are move as much as you can, eat the nutritious foods first but don’t deprive yourself either. Balancing out all aspects of your life will help you stay strong and healthy, both physically and mentally.”
- Don’t beat yourself up if your routine is off: It’s good that you’ll be doing things a little bit differently. It’ll give you a chance to reset and come back refreshed and stronger than ever! That being said, you don’t have to throw all your hard work away either. It’s all a matter of finding a state of balance within your “new” routine.
- Make your Tonal workouts a family affair: Anything that gets you and your family off the couch and sweating can be beneficial for your gains and a way to bond with each other! Introduce them to Tonal if they don’t know what it is. Do Partner workouts or create a family challenge where you take turns working out on Tonal during the week, and whoever completes the most workouts wins an extra treat for Christmas.
- Appreciate each moment: No matter what your culture and heritage is, the holidays are simply a wonderful time to reset, connect with loved ones, and reflect on all of the great things in your life. Stay as present as possible when you share family meals, or do family workouts, or cozy up and watch movies together. Make it a priority to pause, appreciate, and take it all in. The more present you are, the more you will enjoy everything.
Tonal Holiday Hack: If you want to practice feeling more present or learn some of the fundamentals, try one of Tonal’s Meditation programs.
COACH ALLISON’S HOLIDAY TIPS
For Coach Allison, the holidays are a time for gratitude, to be present and active with loved ones.
- Enjoy movement with loved ones: I don’t believe in earning your meals, and over the holidays, I tend to be a bit more relaxed about my workouts. However, I do try to stay active and use physical activities as a way to connect and bond with my loved ones. After meals, we go on hikes or long walks to get fresh air and move our bodies. It becomes a fun activity that doesn’t feel like a punishment for indulging, and it brings us closer together.
- Slow down and be present: I love the holidays because it is a time when I slow down and prioritize the special moments. When you slow down, you can savor every moment and every bite. Plus, it will keep you from overindulging because you are taking your time and giving your brain a chance to determine that you are full.
- Practice gratitude: When I take a moment before eating a meal to state my gratitude for the food on my plate, the people that I am with, and anything else that comes my way, I am more mindful with my meals. It’s also a reminder to be grateful for my body and helps me to practice self-love and compassion.
Tonal Holiday Hack: If you have partners or family coming to stay with you over the holidays, Tonal has great ways for you all to enjoy some movement together. Check out our Partner Workouts and Family Fitness.
DR. LIZ’S HOLIDAY TIPS
For Dr. Liz and her Italian family, food means love, and love means food — as soon as anyone walks through the door, they are met with a large spread. Over the holidays, the trick is to nourish yourself without overindulging. “It’s important to stop and ask why am I eating this? If the answer feels good, then, by all means, hunny, enjoy!”
- Don’t miss out on indulgences that are worth it: Grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookies? That chili your mom makes every year? Your mouthwatering pasta recipe? Enjoy every bite! I choose not to splurge on the items I could get anywhere that aren’t necessarily special. Instead, I choose healthy options and then savor every flavor of those high-quality treats.
- Use smaller plates: There’s nothing sadder than an empty-looking plate. A huge plate begs to be filled with delicious options. When possible, I pile all my favorite foods onto a smaller plate so that I can enjoy food with my loved ones without going overboard.
- Stock up on healthy food too: Over the holidays, I feel my best when I have healthy options on hand, even if that means doing a grocery store run while away from home.
As you head into this season, implement a few of these healthy holiday tips, and you’ll feel your strongest in the new year.