manage the holidays like Blake and Ryan

5 Tips to Manage The Holidays Like Blake and Ryan

Yes, we mean manage the holidays like Blake and Ryan. As in, Lively and Reynolds.

They. Are. Gorgeous. And in really awesome shape. We’re not suggesting we strive for that level of body perfection. We mean, let’s take some of what works for Blake and Ryan to help us manage our health over the holidays.

If you google weight gain and holidays, you’ll get multiple results citing a study that showed most adults gain about a pound over the holidays. This doesn’t seem like much, but if you don’t shed that pound, 20 holidays can really add up. This is important. But equally, if not more important is the fact that holiday indulgences can send our perimenopausal symptoms into overdrive. Sleep disturbances, bloating, anxiety, mood swings, hot flashes, and more. All of these are impacted by how we treat our bodies.

So how do you manage the holidays like Blake and Ryan? According to their long-time trainer, Don Saladino, it’s not about deprivation or hitting the gym hard over the holidays.  It’s about healthy habits that create consistency and enjoying the best the season has to offer. Really.

The 5 tips below will allow you to enjoy the holidays and promote healthy habits that will support you over the long term.

1. Hydration

Water is an underrated tool in our toolkit for managing our health. Here are just a few things water does for your body:

✔️ Moistens tissues in the eyes, nose, and mouth.
✔️ Lubricates joints.
✔️ Lessens burden on the kidneys and liver by flushing our waste products.
✔️ Regulates body temperature.
From shopping marathons without a break to indulging in a few extra cocktails, it’s easier than you think to become dehydrated. It’s also really easy to avoid. So plan to maintain this health benefit while you are enjoying the best of the season.
💧 Grab your favorite water bottle and keep it handy.
💧 Enjoy a glass of sparkling water with some bitters instead of a cocktail.
💧 Add vegetables with high water content like cucumbers and celery to your plate.
💧 Start your day with a large glass of water.

Your body will thank you.

2. Movement

Let’s be honest, none of us are going to the gym during the holidays. And we don’t have to.
What we do want to do is get some movement into our days to help manage the extra sugar, processed foods, and alcohol that are a central part of this festive season. And if we can vary the types of movement, even better. Add in a little strength training and you get an A+.
Need some help?
✔️ Schedule an evening walk with a friend to take in the holiday lights.
✔️ Put 15 minutes of yoga or stretching into your calendar.
✔️ Have some free weights in the basement? Move them somewhere handy and schedule 10 minutes to work your biceps and triceps.
✔️ Before you start your holiday movie, do some stomach crunches to get those tummy muscles firing.
Even a little movement can help a lot. This year don’t wish for it, plan it. 💪

3. Sleep

Without enough sleep we tend to overeat and choose foods that will give us a boost, but are unhealthy. Sleep gives your body and brain the time to restore and recover. Especially if you’re exercising.

Not sleeping since you’ve hit perimenopause? We hear you!  We have some more information on sleep and perimenopause that you mind find helpful. And keep in mind the following:

  • Having a regular sleep routine can help keep your sleeping on track. While it may be tempting to sleep in late during the holidays, it will likely mess up your sleep cycle. Try to get up and go to bed at about the same time if you can.
  • Alcohol, sugar, rich foods, and caffeine can all sabotage your sleep. If you can have them earlier in the day, that can help preserve your sleep.
  • Stop eating 2 to 3 hours before you plan to be lights out.
  • Regular movement during the day will help improve your sleep. But avoid working out too close to bedtime.
  • Natural light during the day can help your body’s natural sleep rhythm, especially getting light in the morning.

Waking up in the night and can’t get back to sleep?

Try this hack: Set up your favorite meditation on your phone. If you wake in the night, open your phone and hit play. This often puts us back to sleep. And even if it doesn’t, at least we’ve spent the time meditating and not tossing and turning.

4. Eat a lot

Wait. What?
No, that’s not a typo. Hear us out.
Over the holidays, our systems struggle to deal with the excessive sugar, alcohol, and rich indulgences. And quickly we’re feeling anything but joyful. Our energy levels plummet, our waistlines expand, and overall we feel sluggishness, sad, and anxious.
This is especially true for women in perimenopause. All these sugary treats, alcohol, and rich foods disrupt our systems, sending our body’s stress signals into a tailspin. This amps up the cortisol surging through our bodies, causing inflammation, bloating, and feelings of anxiety.
A great way to counter this is to try and get a little movement into our routines throughout the holiday AND eat. A lot.
This is a key tip from Don Saladino: “eat a lot before you, well, eat a lot*.”
*Eat a lot of the healthy stuff.
Instead of starving yourself all day before a holiday party or festive meal, drink a lot of water, over-eat your vegetables, and increase your protein. Not only will this allow you to enjoy and avoid overeating because you’re ravenous, your body will be better able to manage the sugar and alcohol.
So stop with the calorie counting. Instead, focus on fueling up with the good stuff before you indulge, so that your enjoyment of the holidays doesn’t take you down.
The truth is, calorie deprivation won’t help you fit into your skinny jeans. (At least not for very long.) It’ll just make you feel lousy. Trust us, we’ve got years of experience. 😉

5. Build Muscle

When we’ve got some pounds to drop many of us think we need to ramp up the cardio. Truth is that one of the best ways to ramp up your metabolism is to build some muscle. Don Saladino actually urges his female clients to train more like his male clients, and focus on building muscle. Not to bulk up but to increase their strength, resilience, and their metabolism.

Turns out that building muscle is really important in perimenopause. We tend to gain weight, especially on our tummies.  Muscle burns fat and can really help us maintain a healthy weight.

The other thing that happens in perimenopause is our bone loss accelerates. Strength training can increase your bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

You don’t have to go crazy. Even just 10 minutes of strength training a few times a week can make a difference.

Just Pick Something

You don’t have to change overnight. In fact, trying to change everything at once is a sure-fire way to fail. So is the all or nothing approach: “I’m gonna eat everything and do nothing for holidays. I’ll get strict with my diet and exercise in January.” Never. Gonna. Happen.

My ‘something’ this holiday is a small tweak from each of the 5 tips above. I’m just trying to maintain my weight and keep my anxiety in check. So I’m starting my day with a big glass of water.  My calendar has 3 walks booked with friends. I set up my meditation app before I go to sleep in case I wake up at 2 am. My kitchen is stocked with healthy food so that I can eat well before I indulge. And I have 10 lbs weights ready for a few 10 minute sessions of biceps and triceps in my office.

Nothing crazy. Some of it fun. And when I miss a walk or a glass of water, that’s okay. I’ll move on to the next thing in my plan, and keep at it.

Start small and build from there. If you want to look like Blake or Ryan, you’ll need to put in a little extra time. Don Saladino’s programs are available for purchase on his website and include: Train Like Blake Lively 2.0 and Deadpool 2.

Maybe next Christmas. 😉