How Dancers Handle the Holiday Buffet

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The turkey, the ham, the pie — and the pounds. Overindulging in holiday food can derailing your training and make it even harder to reach your goals. How do the world’s best professional dancers stay on “track,” while still enjoying the holiday season? Read on for some tips!

Tip 1: Move before the feast!

Don’t let the whole day be a lazy fest – get your body moving before the holiday dinner to build up a calorie deficit and get your metabolism going. It can be anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours, and it doesn’t have to be your normal training routine. For example, a day when your extended family is in town is a great day to play with kids, nieces, nephews, and grandkids in the yard, or play a game of pickup football at the park. Whatever you do, make sure it elevates your heartrate so you can spend the rest of the day relaxing, knowing that you’ve contributed toward your larger fitness goals.

Tip 2: Fast, but don’t starve.

There might be a temptation to completely fast in order to limit your calorie intake for the day. However, this could backfire by making you feel weak and fatigued. Instead, try to eat small, nutrient-dense snacks throughout the day to keep your energy up and your metabolism revving. These can be as simple as some raw veggies from a snack tray, with some hummus for protein.

Tip 3: Feast!

When the meal comes, enjoy yourself! Don’t be afraid to dig in. One meal is not going to ruin everything you’ve worked for, so don’t stress about the extra calories. Instead, focus on the family, food and fun that make the holiday so special.

Tip 4: Stop.

Once the meal is over, try to avoid revisiting it. That means limit the amount of leftovers you take, especially when it comes to the dessert! The real damage from a holiday dinner comes from the endless, decadent leftovers that begin to whittle away at your sculpted dancer’s body.

Tip 5: Get Back on Track.

Many people struggle to get back on the wagon after indulging their cravings during the holiday season. There’s a reason so many New Years’ resolutions involve getting fit and trim! Don’t let your healthy diet take a backseat to holiday traditions — the office holiday party or dinner at a friend’s house doesn’t have to seep into the rest of your meals. Remain focused on getting the right balance of nutrients throughout the day, so that the parties and dinners make less of an impact.

The holidays can put you complete off-course if you let them. Make sure you avoid a backslide in your progress with these tips professional ballroom dancers use. And visit your local Fred Astaire Dance Studio to keep chugging along into the new year!