5 Ways to Stay Functional During the Holidays

While the holidays are a time most associated with good spirit and cheer, we also know you're bound to be challenged with temptations. Food, sweets, and endless desserts always somehow find their way onto plates within arms reach!

Although the main goal is to be as healthy as possible, if you find yourself in these same situations during the holidays try not to stress too much (stress itself has adverse affects on your health!). 

Of course at Functional Patterns, we recommend shooting for 100% functionality: avoiding grains, highly processed foods, heavy PUFA meals, and alcohol. The main reason being that your FP gains will happen drastically faster by subtracting these inhibitors of good bodily function.

But we're also realists, we know not every pitcher will throw a perfect game. Not every fighter goes the distance. And not every person will be able to fend off the urges to have some buttered biscuits or casserole with their turkey, ham, or roasted goose. If you fall shy of 100% effort, you're still closer to your goals than you were before! As the saying by Aristotle goes, "Our problem is not that we aim too high and miss, but that we aim too low and succeed."

With that said, this article is meant to serve as a kind reminder to simply try your best! Balance is key, so here is 5 tips to help you stay functional through the holiday season (and quickly back on the wagon if you happen to fall off).

Eat Mindfully

When it comes to eating we recommend taking a subtraction approach. Eliminating foods with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA's), lectins, grains, and other anti-nutrients is our go-to advice  anytime when it comes to sitting down at the dinner table.

Believe it or not this still leaves you with some very healthy food to eat! Roasted roots and squashes, bone broths, and meats are some of the most vitally nutritious foods first and foremost — and all very common in winter dishes you'll find during the holidays. 

For example, looking for a little bit of sweetness? Try adding honey or maple syrup drizzled onto roasted carrots — get creative! There's still plenty of great options, and with a little planning you can "have your cake and eat it too" when it comes to maintaining healthy and nourishing food this season.

Stay Hydrated

Often the most overlooked, drinking water likely ranks up there as the most important thing to do during the holidays. With hot ciders, hot chocolates, and a long list of alcoholic winter beverages that pop-up during these times, it's too easy to forget to drink adequate amounts of H20.

What's more, alcohol and coffee both have dehydrating effects on the body, which makes staying hydrated doubly important. We really have to strongly advise to avoid these beverages specifically, but if you do decide to imbibe during the holidays, make sure you accompany it with a large bottle of water.

Lastly, in addition to hydrating, you water is necessary to burn fat, it helps to remove bodily waste, and even acts as a kind of natural appetite suppressant. All these things combined should give you a good baseline of understanding for just how important water can be to the equation. Drink up!

Reinvent Your Workout

What we're known for year round is how we promote people to get their bodies moving better. If you have too much compression, or if your muscles are too stretched out when you move, you miss out on body connections that make moving feel good as well as productive towards good health.


Movement is vital to ensure your body functions as normal. Not only that, learning how to move better will allow the water and nutrients you ingest to be better utilized by your cells. Doing things like self-myofascial release (MFR) and corrective exercises as you'd find in our 10 Week Online Course is a great way of implementing a better way of training during the holidays.


Looking for a more rigorous way of burning off the calories? Try our Functional Training System, which will take you through a step-by-step guide on how to execute powerful motions to get you healthy and strong, and keep you there.

Make Time for Self Care

Piggy-backing off the previous point, it's important to keep in mind to make time for YOU. You can still be in the spirit of giving to others, but sometimes we need a kind reminder that giving to yourself is just as important. Being generous to yourself isn't selfish, but allows you time to recuperate, regenerate, and better serve the needs of others. 

You can't give what you don't have yourself, so be sure to listen to your body and set aside some time to balance your mind & body when your energy reserves get low!

Change Your Mindset

We hope some of the things we've listed above have already changed your mindset a little bit for the holidays.


The last thing we'll leave you with is a great resource to help further empower your mindset this holiday season. The Functional Podcast (TFP) is a place where the founder and CEO of Functional Patterns Naudi Aguilar gives detailed insights into the points above. 


Oftentimes the biggest limitation for people to overcome their environments is the wisdom on how to do it. With a little bit of wisdom, and the golden nuggets of knowledge that you'll find in TFP, you will be better equipped to move forward through the holidays with a stronger mindset and healthier outlooks on training, and more.


Until next time this is Functional Patterns reminding you to Celebrate Intentionally, Not Habitually. Happy Holidays!

-Functional Patterns: 'We Take the Guesswork Out Of Taking Care of Your Body'™