Well, the holidays are right around the corner and I’m already mentally preparing myself so I don’t derail completely from my healthy eating and exercise plan. It’s hard enough all year long to stay on track, but when the holidays are here it takes a little more discipline and self-control than normal with mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing (my personal favorite), green bean casserole and not to mention the delicious desserts like pie, cake and cookies tempting you at every gathering. The holidays should be a time of celebration, not of anxiety, so you might be wondering what I do to prepare myself in advance.
Moderation is Key!
For me, moderation is key! There is no reason to skip some of these delicious foods completely, you just have to be aware of what and how much you’re eating. For example, Instead of a mound of stuffing, opt for a ¼ cup size. Indulge in a small piece of your favorite dessert versus eating a piece of every dessert at the table. Also, keep in mind, studies show that if you deprive yourself completely, you’re more likely to overindulge at a later time. Recognize the difference between healthy and unhealthy indulgence.
6 Tips to Stay on Track During the Holidays
Here’s a few tips to help you prepare:
- Relax. What harms your body more than indulging a little over the holidays is stress. Stress on your body translates to weight gain.
- Listen to your body. When your body tells you that you’ve had enough, don’t eat a few more forkfuls…stop eating. If you keep eating after your body is telling you to stop, you will most likely have zero energy, feel overly full and on top of that, you’ll probably feel guilty, which leads to stress! Refer to #1.
- Enjoy your food. Savor it. When you shovel your food in, your brain translates this to “I haven’t been fed” therefore, you keep eating until you’re beyond full. Slow down and enjoy your food, pay attention to the taste and smell and you will feel satisfied sooner.
- Start small. There’s plenty of food, you don’t need to pile your plate a mile high. Start small and you can go back for seconds if you are really still hungry.
- Prepare in advance. If you know you’ll be going to an event with little to no choices of healthy food options, bring your own! Bring a veggie plate or your favorite salad, this way you won’t be tempted to overeat on things that aren’t good for you.
- Make time to for exercise. Don’t forget about getting some physical activity in just because it’s the holidays. Instead incorporate that into your exercise. Take a family hike or walk after dinner, play a game of touch football, go for a bike ride.
I hope this gives you some helpful tips on staying on-track through this holiday season. It’s not that overwhelming if you put your mind to it and prepare yourself in advance. Remember, this season is about fun and family, not overdoing it and feeling bad after. But, if you do derail a little, don’t beat yourself up, own it and get back on point the next day!
Keep the shiny side up and the rubber side down and make healthy choices!