September 23, 2021 3 min read
We’ve all been there: once the colder weather rolls around and we start to layer on the sweaters and jackets, we also start craving sweets. And heavy comfort foods. And those rich holiday treats like honey-glazed hams and pumpkin pies that only come around during this time of the year.
But this transition into coziness and comfort can also sometimes signal the death of our fitness goals for the year.
All those heavy, indulgent meals also come loaded with a ton of calories, sugar, and fat. As good as they make us feel in the moment, this can definitely throw a wrench in even the most well-thought-out fitness plans.
Luckily, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Meal prepping can be a critical tool for beating the holiday blues.
But in order for it to be effective, you should start getting into an established routine as quickly as possible. Here’s why you should start meal prepping right now and not wait until the New Year rolls around.
Even though meal prepping can make your life a whole lot easier through the rest of the week, it requires a fair amount of discipline to make sure that you’re adhering to it. You have to hold yourself accountable to planning your meals, finding time to cook them, and you even need a good amount of discipline to make sure that you’re reaching for your meal prep instead of other, more tempting options.
The good news: this kind of mindset really sets you up for success if you stick with it!
Establishing this discipline earlier on can do wonders for you and your goals once the holiday season comes around. If you’ve adjusted to a solid routine where you stay on track the majority of the time, you’re probably more equipped to handle the challenges that are thrown your way once Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas roll around.
Imagine this: you’ve been at work for eight long hours, stressing and staying productive and getting a ton of stuff done. Once you get off, you realize that you’re hungry and want to eat something right away.
If you had a meal already prepped and ready to go, it would be convenient and easy to pop it into the microwave and have a suitable option ready right away.
But if you didn’t have a convenient and healthy option available to you, you might decide to hit the fast food joint on your drive home. Or you might go for one of the convenient but heavily-processed frozen meals that you keep in your freezer for situations such as these.
When you get into the habit of meal prepping and always have healthier options available, you’re usually better equipped to stay on track even during situations that you would really rather go off the rails. It’s a good mentality to be in once the holidays come around: even if you know that there are other tempting and easy things out there to eat, you always have a better option at home that you can turn to.
When it comes to changing your diet and eating habits, being overly strict tends to backfire. So finding success is usually about striking the right balance and enjoying things in moderation!
One of the downfalls that many people face during the holidays is that they let a couple of “cheat meals” turn into whole-month affairs. With treats at the office, leftovers after big family dinners, and kids bringing home candy and sweets, it’s easy to lose your way without a safeguard in place.
This is where meal prepping really comes into play. Meal prepping is a great tool for encouraging moderation. If you get into the habit of cooking enough healthy meals at the start of the week, you’ll have plenty of healthy options to turn to even after you partake in the occasional treats and meals out.
So even if you indulge in those holiday treats, you can get right back on board by eating your meal prep.
With a little bit of planning and a dash of discipline, you could make this holiday season the best one yet for your health and wellness goals. Check out My Healthy Penguin if you’re in the Los Angeles area and need even more ways to stay on track through the winter!
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