Tips for a Healthy Holiday

Tips for a Healthy Holiday

Party invites with treats galore. Cocktails, pies, cookies and more! Time for the holidays to sabotage your best efforts. Right? Or not... You have been staying on track, making healthy choices, going to the gym and then- Thanksgiving rolls around. The downward spiral of bad choices starts and heads into December. Do you need to be a hermit to avoid the social pressures to indulge?

Time for the holidays to sabotage your best efforts. Right?

Or not...

You have been staying on track, making healthy choices, going to the gym and then- Thanksgiving rolls around. The downward spiral of bad choices starts and heads into December. Do you need to be a hermit to avoid the social pressures to indulge?

Your aunt has worked all day baking pies and is highly offended when you decline a piece. How could you break her heart? “Okay, okay- cut me a small sliver”, you say, while she places a large, scrumptious piece of pecan pie on your plate.

Then your uncle offers you a cocktail- you cannot be rude- so you down the holiday-themed, syrupy concoction. All is well until you come home and try to enter it all into your MyFitness Pal journaling app- “Yikes! What’s the point? I’ll just get back to this in January!” you say.

What is the harm in that?

Is there something you can do so you don’t completely end up on that downward spiral of indulgence?

Is there a way you could mindfully make choices that make sense for you? Because your body and health don’t give you a holiday pass.

Here are some tips that you can use to enjoy the holiday AND stay on track with your health, weight loss or weight maintenance efforts!

  1. Eat ahead of time: If you know you are going to a party where there is going to be a lot of tempting foods, eat before you go. If you are full and satiated with a well-rounded meal, you are less likely to pile on unhealthy foods on your plate.
  2. Eat foods with fiber: When you eat ahead or while choosing what to put on your plate, choose foods that are high in fiber. They will keep you full longer and help stabilize your blood sugar. Example: Cut veggies, fruit, and nuts.
  3. Don’t let any food be a forbidden food: It is all a mind game. If you know you can’t have something, you want it! Right? Tell yourself you can have whatever you want, but not unlimited quantities. This leads to the next one.
  4. Have a plan: Choose which treats you are going to treat yourself to. Then think ahead to your response for when you are offered seconds. Could you respectfully decline? Could you let it sit on your plate, take a bite, and then get rid of it? Believe it or not, no one is watching your plate that closely!
  5. “Fake it”: You can do this with food, but more easily with drinks. No one knows whether your drink has alcohol in it. You don’t have to have the whole can of sugary soda. In social settings, often friends who are enjoying cocktails want others to indulge with them. If you are only having a club soda with lime, no one will know! And if you want to have a sugary soda, why not have half of your glass be club soda?
  6. Remember why you are there: This time around the holidays is a time you want to enjoy with loved ones. Yes, food is a focal point. But be mindful that it is also about the company, sharing stories and coming together.

Don’t let the holidays be an excuse to let go and completely negate all your hard work. The greatest gift you can give yourself this holiday is self-love. Make yourself and your health a priority!