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6 Insanely Easy Ways To Stay Lean + Healthy During The Holidays

As the holiday season approaches, the air is filled with the festive scent of cinnamon, the warmth of glowing lights, and the promise of joyful gatherings with loved ones. Yet, for many of us, the holidays also bring a sense of trepidation about maintaining our health and fitness amidst the tempting array of delicious treats and indulgent feasts. The struggle to stay lean and healthy during this time of year is real, but fear not! This blog is your guide to navigating the holiday season without sacrificing your well-being.

In the midst of the festivities, it’s easy to let healthy habits slip away, but with these simple strategies, you can enjoy the holiday cheer while still prioritizing your health. From mindful eating tips to quick and effective workouts, we’ve curated a list of six insanely easy ways to help you stay on track during this joyful yet challenging season. So, let’s embark on a journey together to celebrate the holidays with energy, vitality, and a commitment to our well-being. After all, ’tis the season to be jolly and healthy!

1. HIIT It

Easy Ways To Stay Lean + Healthy During The Holidays
Play tag with your kids for a great HIIT workout

Forget long-duration sustained cardio.  Instead, focus on short bursts of intense movement. You are better off running twenty minutes at a faster pace than sixty minutes slow. If you are new to running, try doing short intervals of fast paced jogging or primal movement patterns.

You can also try more traditional forms of HIIT training, but if you aren’t getting the results you want, it may be time to hire a trainer (I happen to be married to an incredible one).

2. Fresh Air

Easy Ways To Stay Lean + Healthy During The Holidays
Find ways to be playful

I can’t emphasize enough how important fresh air and getting Vitamin D from natural sunlight is for your health.  Even if I’m not exercising, I always get outside for at least an hour a day.  For me, there is peace in movement, and therefore, I am always finding an excuse to walk, bike, or skate somewhere- to the store, the coffee shop, the bakery for donuts, you name it.  For time efficiency, look for ways to incorporate your exercise and the fresh air.  Connecting with nature does wonders for your health.  

Take our workout Quiz

3. Intermittent Fasting: Eat Like A Warrior

Easy Ways To Stay Lean + Healthy During The Holidays
Get outdoors and challenge yourself.

I am a firm believer in a warrior-style eating plan.  The premise behind this is to detox during the day by eating only small amounts of protein, veggies, and nuts, but then sitting down to eat a huge dinner at night.

This seems to cause a lot of resistance for people. Isn’t it bad to not eat breakfast?  Isn’t it bad to go to bed full?  No, it’s very good for you.  I go into a lot more detail on this in my book A Playful Life or you can purchase Ori’s book The Warrior Diet here and learn all the scientific reasoning behind it.  Or… you can just give it a try this holiday season and see for yourself that it does work

Our typical day starts with organic black coffee and maybe one egg or a slice of bacon while we work with clients and get our computer work done.  Then, we are on the trail, in the water, or climbing rock faces. Now it’s time for our dinner. We might have a beer or glass of wine while chopping veggies and snacking on appetizers of cheese and olives. Then it’s a huge serving of protein and veggies and a small serving of sourdough bread with grass-fed butter.

So when you head to all those holiday parties, think warrior…small breakfast of protein or fat (nuts), exercise intensely, start with a drink, followed by fat (cheese and olives), then fill up on protein and veggies, and last enjoy a cookie or two.

 

4. Splurge on Real Food

Easy Ways To Stay Lean + Healthy During The Holidays
Salad, chili, garlic bread, and pineapple upside-down cake from whole ingredients that have been well sourced.

Donuts are a horrible splurge.  More than likely they are fried in rancid fat and made with GMO flour.  One percent of the time, I let that slide even though I know it’s bad.  However, ninety-nine percent of my splurges are on food that I can trace back to its source.

We make pies, muffins, cakes, and cookies ourselves with organic and non-GMO ingredients.  We use grass-fed butter and olive or coconut oil.  We avoid buying products that contain soy, high fructose corn syrup, and partially hydrogenated fats.  If you do splurge on packaged products occasionally, offset it with more homemade monster salads and soups filled with veggies.

The Eat to Play part of my book is loaded with more tips and recipes like this.  Victor’s strategy is to have a protein shake before he goes to parties.  Try our favorite protein powder.

 

5. Connect with Your Breath

Easy Ways To Stay Lean + Healthy During The Holidays
Take a yoga class

The fresh air and exercise are great, but you need to find time to reconnect with your breath and quiet your mind.  Meditation, yoga, and breathwork are great ways to accomplish this.

There are many forms of meditation, yoga, and breathwork and it’s good to find one that matches what your body and mind need. 

Personally, when I’m surfing a lot, I need to offset all those anaerobic bursts and tight shoulders with more yin-style classes.  If I’m hiking a lot, I need more vinyasa classes so that I can open up my hips in a variety of angles and get a workout in my upper body at the same time with all the chaturanga. 

It’s not about burning calories. It’s about creating wellness in your body so that your body can do its thing and metabolize, detox, and heal.

6. Have an Intention

Easy Ways To Stay Lean + Healthy During The Holidays
Find an outdoor activity that the whole family can enjoy

At its root, the holiday season is wonderful—it’s about giving, connecting, and appreciating.  But we are all too familiar with what it can turn into—a rat race of commercialism and stress.

Take a few moments when you are connecting with your breath and ask yourself:

What’s my purpose this holiday season? What do I want it to look, smell, and feel like? How do I want to feel on December 26th?

If you are going through the motions of your day and trying to make everyone else happy but not yourself, that frustration and anger are going to build inside you, and in the end, you will probably see it in your waistline and aches and pains that just won’t go away

You can’t do it all, nor should you try to.  Choose what’s important to you and set up boundaries for yourself ahead of time.  

This holiday season, and every day for that matter, forget about willpower and instead, be proactive in your life so you can indulge with little guilt. 

We are all crunched for time, but we all want to live long, enjoyable lives so aim to:

  • Set aside at least thirty minutes a day for intense exercise (preferably outdoors).  The more playful and fun, the better!
  • Find a reason to walk or ride to run an errand.
  • Connect with your breath, notice your thoughts, and tune in to your intention daily.
  • Fill your fridge with lots of protein, veggies, and healthy fats.
  • Eat only a small amount of fat or protein during the day, but end it with a huge, healthy meal for dinner.
  • Then, raise your glass and toast Your Playful Life! while indulging a little.

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easy ways to stay lean + healthy during the holidays

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