The holidays are all about overindulgence – those extra helpings of treats at holiday parties and lounging on the couch during snowy days. Pair overindulgence with stress and lack of sleep and we can end up feeling out of sorts by the New Year. Thankfully, there are simply ways we can get back on track. Instead of tackling it all at once, take the “baby-step” approach to avoid being overwhelmed. Try these 5 easy steps to undo overindulgence.
- Start Moving. Even if it’s just a 10 minute walk a day, get going! This is a great way to start using those unused gym memberships. You can even add your workouts to your calendar and treat them like you would any other appointment. Whether solo or with a friend, getting back into a fitness routine will help you engage in other positive health behaviors too.
- Start Tracking. Write down what you eat and how much you move. There are many free websites and apps to help you monitor your eating and activity habits. Tracking will provide a source of accountability to help you start changing behaviors a little bit at a time.
- Change One Meal. Whether you skip meals, dine out more or indulge in late-night snacks, change just one meal. Use your records from tracking to help you determine what meal is most challenging for you and start there. It will feel less overwhelming to change one meal at a time instead of changing your entire diet.
- Try Something New. This could be as simple as changing your walking route. It may mean trying a new class at the gym or a new piece of equipment. You could try a different fruit, vegetable or whole grain once a week. It could be a new, healthy recipe you have wanted to try. Whatever it is, trying something new can increase your sense of happiness. Increasing your sense of happiness can create internal motivation to make behavior changes.
- Tell Someone What You Are Doing. Creating an accountability source can help you stay on track with the changes you are trying to make. Pick someone you trust, who can be honest with you and hold you accountable to your goals. This person can be a friend, relative, health coach, or other health professional who you can talk to on a regular basis.
By conquering these steps one-by-one, you can easily undo your holiday overindulgence and get back on track for the New Year.