Tis the season for holiday after holiday – this time of year can be very stressful to a lot of people who may be watching their weight, or for those who do not want to become a statistic of holiday weight gain of 7-10 lbs. this holiday season.
Ideally, I would recommend priming your metabolism. When your metabolism is working as it should be, and your mindset it in the right space, holiday treats can be enjoyed without packing on the pounds. This, however, can take a while to obtain so I will stick to some simple and immediately actionable solutions for you to focus on right now!
Stick to your healthy habits during the week
Allowing yourself one day a week, preferably on a weekend to eat and enjoy your holiday events and treats guilt free. This is a practice that I work on with my clients year-round to keep them on track when special or unexpected events come up, as they always do because that is just a fact of life. Situations may not always seem ideal, but when you have a plan, it can make it easier to navigate and enjoy life and all of the celebrations, surprises, and challenges that come with it.
Let go of guilt
Along with the notion of good food vs. bad food. This is a mental game as much as anything else. Notice how freeing it feels to eat without emotional attachment. This tip feeds off of the situation in the tip above. If you are going to a special event, allow yourself to enjoy it. Many people allow themselves to be so consumed by guilt and stress over food, that they can’t actually enjoy the experience for what it is. Enjoy the people that you are with. Focus on the experience that you are having and sharing with others and less about what food you think you “should or shouldn’t” be eating.
Use a smaller plate
If you are attending a buffet style holiday party, stick to a smaller size plate, and make just one trip – or try just one serving of the dishes and treats that are the most appealing to you.
Bring a healthy dish
Why not make your favorite healthy dish and share the gift of health with everyone there! I do this often, and it always seems to inspire someone to then make some healthy changes themselves!
Go light on the Booze
While for the majority of people, there is nothing wrong with enjoying a cocktail from time to time, try to limit yourself to how many drinks that you choose to consume. Alcohol not only has a negative effect on your health and ability to make smart choices but, it is also filled with empty calories that can add up rather quickly. Opt for some water instead and keep yourself hydrated as a bonus!
Don’t let the “busyness” of the holiday season take priority over your health, mind, and body. Stick to your exercise routine as much as possible. Wake up an hour earlier if you need some extra time. You will be so happy that you did. Keeping consistent with your routine will not only keep you on track with your goals, but you will also be more likely to make healthier choices throughout the day. Plus, exercise is a fantastic way to reduce stress which can also be elevated during this time of year.
Get enough sleep
It is important to give your body enough rest, especially during more stressful times. Sleep deprivation can not only make you feel lousy, but it can also make you feel hungrier and have stronger cravings. So make sure you get to bed on time and get adequate rest. It’s ok to say no if you are feeling run down. You are no good to anyone else if you are not able to function at your best. A good night’s sleep is an easy way to boost your immune system, give your nervous system a break, and allow your body to regenerate so that you can be your best, full of energy and ready to take on your day!
Following these simple tips, will not only keep you from adding on the pounds this holiday season, but you will also have a great jumpstart on your new year’s goals by establishing these healthy habits now.