Holiday Survival Guide

By: Addie Claire Merletti, MS, RD, CSCS

It’s a tale as old as time: you grind through the summer and fall on your health and fitness goals. After October 31, things start to fall apart a little. By November 30, the wheels have completely come off and you decide to put off your goals until January. In doing so, you also lose a ton of your progress and end up starting almost where you started last January.
WHAT IF you focused on maintenance through this quarter? Here are a few ways you can maintain your progress, and more importantly not feel like garbage by January 1st

  1. MOVE your body: You may not have time for your usual 1.5-hour workout. That doesn’t mean it’s worthless to go to the gym. Get out of the all-or-nothing mindset and remember that a few sets is better than no sets. Also, you know you need the stress relief and mood boost that exercise provides right now.
  2. DRINK the water: It’s cold, you’re less thirsty. You’re drinking more wine/eggnog/whiskey. Being less hydrated will not only make your skin dry, but also can prevent you from proper workout recovery! Aim for ½ your body weight in ounces daily.
  3. EAT the veggies: See if you can eat 5 servings/day. This will keep your energy up, and your GI tract feeling happy. If you’re using MightyMeals, this is easy! Sure, marinara sauce counts. Here are a few high-veg meals I like:

Chicken POWER Bowl

(This is 2 lunches for me!)

Bruschetta Chicken

(Pro Tip: add shaved parmesan)

Zoodles & Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Low Carb Breakfast*

(If you get 2 servings at breakfast, the rest of the day is easy!)

  1. PLAN for success: Look ahead at your week every Sunday or Monday. Be realistic about how many meals you have time to prepare, and about when you have time to exercise. Be careful making social plans at the end of crazy workdays. Consider meeting a friend for a workout instead of another drink.
  2. PARTY smartly: Whatever you do, don’t show up starving. Try to eat all of your food off of plates to keep you mindful of the balance. Find all the vegetables you can (see #3) and make sure your plate is ½ full with them! Do your best to alternate your alcoholic beverages with water (see #2 and also, hangovers). This is a marathon, not a sprint!

Go get ‘em, tigers!
– AC
Meet Addie Claire Merletti, MS, RD, CSCS: AC is originally from Charlotte, NC and got her Bachelor’s degree in both psychology and Spanish at UNC Chapel Hill. She worked in community mental health before going back for her Master’s in Nutrition at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. AC fell in love with sports nutrition while working with the dietitians at Notre Dame University during her intern year. She feels passionately about using balanced nutrition to support a balanced life, and enjoys helping people use food as a tool to bust through plateaus and hit their goals! Addie is always down to try a new workout and absolutely loves to cook and try new foods. She can make lots of fancy dishes, but her favorite food is anything that resembles PB&J. AC is one of four VIDA Fitness Registered Dietitians. 
AC’s favorite MightyMeal is the Basil Pesto Chicken & Orzo.
About VIDA Fitness: VIDA is a premiere health and wellness club comprised of six locations all throughout Washington DC. Our gyms boast state-of-art equipment, and uniquely designed spaces to make your workouts both efficient & productive. We offer a wide array of group fitness classes and personal training options to ensure that everyone is comfortable and supported in achieving their fitness goals. VIDA is all about creating community, and making sure everyone who walks in our doors feels like they are part of our family. Please email if you’re interested in learning more about our nutritional counseling services. Connect with VIDA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.