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With the holidays quickly approaching, we all tend to wonder “how can I possibly make it through this season and stay healthy?” Typically, the holiday season is one where our health habits are thrown out the window. We fall prey to overindulgence and lack of discipline in our eating and exercise habits. In other words, we slack off and leave our health on the back burner until the New Year hits and we resolve to do better, AGAIN.
I’m here to tell you this year doesn’t have to be a repeat of the past! You don’t have to sacrifice all your hard work on the altar of overindulgence in the name of feeling good in the moment or drowning out the stress of extended family time! Below, find some tips on how to enjoy the holiday season without going off the rails. Don’t lose traction on your journey to better health!
Make a plan ahead of time, and stick to it
Typically, family gatherings and parties are planned ahead of time, which means you can do the same! Take advantage of this foreknowledge to mentally prepare for the meal. If you know healthy food will be limited, offer to bring a salad or some fresh fruit!
Allow yourself some indulgence
We know that there will be an overabundance of our favorite holiday treats, alcoholic beverages and goodies. Not only do they taste good, but they are also nostalgic reminders of our childhood and fond memories with family over the years. Commonly, you try to white knuckle your way through it all by telling yourself you cannot have any treats or enjoy a drink. This is probably the biggest mistake you can make. It not only makes you feel left out and miserable at the party, but also creates a self-pity mentality. This mindset will likely lead you to even worse eating behavior at dinner time, or after you get home. Therefore, it is much better to decide on a specific amount you will allow yourself to indulge in for both sweet treats and alcoholic beverages (1 large dessert or 2-3 small samples; 1-2 alcoholic/high-calorie beverages) and stick to it!
Eat until you’re 80% full
Overstuffing is far too common during the holidays. Are you the type to make sure you wear your stretchy pants to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner? Challenge yourself to do better this year! Can you make it through without overstuffing?
Fill up on the healthier options before going for seconds on starches
By all means, enjoy a serving of all the delicious carbs and starches you love. However, instead of grabbing seconds of the mashed potatoes and gravy, make sure you fill up on the available fruits and veggies first!
Manage stress effectively
Stress is sometimes inevitable around the holiday season. Although we claim “it’s the most wonderful time of the year,” we all have that difficult relative, the demanding in-law, the stress of hosting the entire family, and not to mention the financing of everything. Therefore, it is important that we take the necessary time for ourselves to just breathe. Find and accept help if you are taking on hosting this year. Plan for the unkind remarks from that relative and resolve to not let it knock you down. If needed, you can also formulate an early exit plan.
Don’t miss your workout
Commit to still getting a workout in and join us for our 5th annual Thanksgiving Day workout! Contact Derek at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot and your complimentary T-Shirt today!