December. A month packed full of tasty possibilities. You may have office parties to navigate, neighborhood get togethers, church gatherings, and of course your own family festivities to attend.
Food. There’s an abundance of delicious fares available during the holiday season.
Eat, drink and be merry now because January will soon arrive and all you’ll see will be weight loss shakes, diet books, and new plans for starvation after all your feasting has gone on.
Tell me I’m wrong. It’s a sad dismal reality every…single…year.
Like anything, I believe balance and moderation are crucial during the holiday season. Not only in regards to weight, but really, overall wellness and how you feel. To much excess in food or alcohol will make you feel sluggish, bloated and not your best.
Maintain balance and moderation and you won’t need or want any of those awful shakes. Live a constant healthy lifestyle and you can move through this season and not have to think about doing anything different in January.
I get it.
Among other things I love doing for Christmas is baking and making candy. I’m old school so it’s all from scratch. Really, nothing is better than sugar cookies made with real butter.
A fat Santa? A fluffy reindeer? A round snowman? Who can resist a fun sugar cookie with frosting and sprinkles?
Not me that’s for sure. Those are my favorite Christmas cookies and I don’t restrict myself… but nor do I go crazy and over eat on them as either.
It’s all about that balance, right?
I think where people often fail is having an “all or nothing” mentality. They restrict so much that when they decide they are going to have treats, it turns into a feeding frenzy.
Neither approach is really helpful or healthy.
Let’s be honest. Of course you/I/we all know we are going to indulge. It’s just a matter of how you handle the indulging part.
Make healthy eating your main thing.
I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again, just because we are in the “holiday season” doesn’t mean you just need to go hog wild eating everything in sight. It doesn’t mean you proclaim you’ll worry about it “next year”.
To keep feeling your best, limit any weight gain and enjoy yourself, make sure you keep your meals as healthy as possible. If you know you will be participating in a party later that day, eat well, but don’t go to the extreme of not eating because you are “saving your calories”.
All you’ll do is show up ravenous and most likely eat way more than you would have.
Eat sensibly, go with a plan to the party, and then be super selective about what you eat.
For goodness sakes, don’t eat everything on the buffet if there are some things you don’t like a lot.
Save your calories for your most favorite foods 😉
I wish I could claim the fat loss hack below….
I saw this and it was perfect to share here. I tend to operate this way and find it easy to do. I especially love the second part. To often people think if they’ve had one “bad” meal they should just throw in the towel and eat bad the rest of the day. No… you get back to sensible eating again.
I think this is a great reminder as we go through the holidays that one meal full of extras doesn’t have to be what the rest of our day is like.
Eat your normal foods more often than not, if you eat extra treats get back to normal at your next meal. Keep things simple.
Other things to consider…
Make sure vegetables and fruit are a big part of your daily diet. Well, you should even if it isn’t Christmas time, but more so now. They keep you full, give you energy and keep that sluggish feeling from setting in when you’ve had an overly laden high fat/carb meal.
Drink adequate water. This will help keep you hydrated, especially if alcohol makes it’s rounds with you. Water can help flush excess sodium from foods we’ve consumed and it also helps prevent headaches that can come from to much excess.
Mindful eating. So often we graze and just load food into our mouths without even being aware of what it is or why we are eating it. Think about what you eat. If you aren’t hungry, walk away from it. Find something else to occupy you till the desire passes.
Keep up with your exercise. Not only does it help reduce stress, it also allows time for you to think and sort ideas, clear your mind and help with creativity. Not only that, it can help keep your weight in check as well. Don’t dismiss it as not having enough time. I am a big fan of HIIT workouts that are 20 minutes, but packed with lots of hard work.
Trust me, you’ve got 20 minutes in your day to do something positive for yourself. Check out this weeks Monday Musings for one of my 20 minute workouts.
Keeping a few simple strategies in mind will let you enjoy the tastes and flavors of the season you love while keeping you from gaining excess pounds to deal with in the new year.
Your turn. Do you have any tips or tricks for enjoying the holiday season but not being to self indulgent? Do you keep up with your exercise ?
3 thoughts on “Holidays And Healthy Eating”
During the holidays, I not only keep up with my exercise routine, but the extra time off always means I get to do a little more. Being around extended family means I NEED to do a little more (for my sanity). So, those extra miles or extra lifting sessions make me feel okay about that cup of egg nog or those Christmas cookies. Also, I love running in the dark when everyone has their Christmas lights and decorations up. It’s just fun.
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I love running in the dark! There’s just something about it and yes, more fun with pretty things to look at. Ah an eggnog lover! I try and carefully pace myself on that… and yes… sometimes we do need a little sanity break from those we love 😉
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