Holiday festivities are almost here!
These are some of the most joyful – but busy – times of the year, especially for those of you participating in upcoming competitions and showcases this November and December! One of the questions we’ve gotten recently is “how do I stay fit for pole during the holidays?” and given the season, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to address it!
We’ve all been here.
The dreaded holiday pudge, picking out what you want to eat versus what you “should” eat, while you stand in front of the dessert table with four or five pies to choose from.
We’re calling shenanigans on this whole “should and shouldn’t.” Your body needs fuel to keep moving and being active. If you feel sluggish or weak during the day, chances are, you need more (or better) food.
Now, we’re not going to judge you for getting an extra slice of pie at the family gathering but eating cheese puffs for dinner before your pole class is not going to make you feel on top of the world.
In other words: It’s OK to splurge and let yourself have some sweet delights, but making good, healthy choices are important to keeping your strength high and your body ready for activity.
Keeping that in mind, there are absolutely ways you can optimize your Holiday foodie feast. Just learn a few tricks, pace yourself, and keep your metabolism in mind. We’ve compiled some tips in this article to give you some ideas.
1. Prepare Your Metabolism
Food is the fuel your body uses to keep up with daily activity, provide strength when you need it, and keep your body functioning healthily.
By consistently poling, working out, and simply staying active throughout the season, you’ll increase the demand your body has for energy.
Since your body is using more energy, you can bet it will use all the fuel you give it. The energy you need is contained in foods rich in healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates, which is good news going into the holidays!
Give your body what it wants, and you’ll have more energy throughout the day, your body will break down the food faster, and you’ll get hungrier more often. Of course, you’ll have to balance it with your energy expense, so make sure you continue poling, working out, and making your body utilize those extra calories (read: fuel.)
In general, taking care of your body, eating right, and listening to your metabolism is a sure way to increase the energy you have during training sessions, but it will also be beneficial during the holidays, letting you eat smaller portions more often so you’re not tempted to dive in and stuff yourself all at once.
Want to learn more about the metabolism, hunger, and what to do about it? read our article here.
2. Keep Pole Dancing and Working Out
This is probably the best thing you can do for your body during the holidays, not just to work away that excess fuel, but to make sure you stay strong after the holidays!
By continuing your activity – perhaps even cranking it up a notch – you’ll keep your metabolism running and your body will use as much fuel as it can. Your body will thank you for keeping it moving and you’ll feel stronger and much more energetic!
Now, that’s easy to say, but what about if you’re traveling for the holidays?
Chances are, you wouldn’t have access to a pole while traveling, but you can still do off-the-pole exercises. Pack those resistance bands in your luggage and plan out your travel workout routine on a small notepad.
If you can’t pack your workout gear, then bodyweight exercises such as planks, pushups, v-ups, and some good ol’ cardio will do.
3. Portion Your Food Out
When you get to the serving counter, it can be tempting to lather your plate in delicious food items, not looking at what is going onto the plate or how much.
The truth is, we all typically show up to dinner hungry and serve with our eyes rather than our stomachs. Take time to think about the portions you’re adding and consider dividing food items across how many times you plan to go back for another plate.
We won’t judge you for going back to serve more turkey or ham when everyone else is getting pie – just make sure to reserve your slice of pie before it’s gone!
Another trick to help you portion your food is to drink a glass of water before your meal. Your stomach tells you it’s full several minutes after it has enough food, and having a glass of water first can help trigger that feeling sooner.
It never hurts to have another glass of water, and it’s a good way to create the habit if you have trouble getting enough hydration during the day.
4. Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a great practice, not just during the holidays, but in daily life as well.
It can be easy to eat without being mindful of your food, especially if you’re engrossed in conversation with a friend, or eating your nerves away around your new boyfriend’s family.
Take a bite, savor the first bits of flavor and how it evolves as you chew. Enjoy the texture and let yourself experience each bite of food.
Eating mindfully helps slow down how quickly you eat, which is easier on your digestive system, helps you pace yourself, and lets your stomach catch up to where your mouth is!
5. Don’t Feel Guilty
One of the biggest things to remember is: don’t feel guilty!
These tips aren’t a diet, so you’re not “slipping up” by reaching over and serving yourself a slice of pie.
These tips are meant to help you take care of your body throughout the season and stay pole-strong, reaping the most benefit from rich, holiday foods.
Go and have that slice of pie; eat it mindfully and enjoy it – but don’t skip out on being active, either!
Happy poling (and happy holidays,) everyone!
What’s YOUR favorite holiday dish? Share it with us using #polepedia!