Tips For Staying on Track During the Holiday Season
We’re in the thick of it aren’t, we? Between work events and holiday get-togethers with friends, we’re surrounded by temptation.
While it may have been easy to keep up with meal-planning and avoid triggers over the summer and fall, it can feel nearly impossible now.
We know how you feel! That’s why we wanted to give you some timely advice for dealing with food cravings and slip-ups over the holidays.
Don’t Let Your Emotions Take Over this Holiday Season
First of all, we want you to forgive yourself.
One of the worst things you can do at this time of year is let one slip-up turn your entire holiday season into a downward cycle of shame and binge-eating.
So, you had an extra slice of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. So what! Did you finish off that bag of candy your spouse left on the counter? Okay. You won’t die. Let it go, and make a healthy choice next time.
It’s not the end of the world to skip a workout or indulge in some holiday cheer. In fact, indulging in a smart way can make it easier to get back on track. So, have that slice of cake – but then walk away. Or fill up on veggies so you can resist the temptation of that plate of sugar cookies. It truly is one day at a time, and if you’re going to hold on to guilt from last week or the week before, then you’re only messing yourself up when you could be moving forward.
Before a Big Event, Make a Plan
Now that you’ve forgiven yourself for any slip-ups, you can begin to make a plan.
Do you have an office party coming up? Will there be cakes, pies, alcohol, etc. to avoid? Make a plan now for how you’ll respond. We recommend taking three steps:
- Take a bottle of water with you to your next event. With water in your hand, you’ll have an easier time saying no to sugary drinks. Plus, you can sip on it off and on to keep yourself hydrated and energized.
- When you do fill your plate, do it strategically. Choose smaller portions of the not-so-great-for-you food you really love, and larger portions of protein and vegetables. You can feel good that you’re eating a balanced meal! When you finish your plate, wait a little while before returning for seconds. You may discover that you’re completely full, and you don’t need to go back for additional helpings.
- Take some sugar-free gum or mints with you. When you finish your plate of food, pop some minty freshness in your mouth. That will help you resist the plates of sweets being passed around, and it will signal an end to your meal.
Stick to Your Routine as Much as Possible: That Includes Meal-Prepping and Workouts
Make sure you’ve done your meal-prepping for the week so you have healthy choices at home. Your body will feel so much better if you fill it with healthy choices before and after that little bit of holiday indulgence. After all, balance is the goal.
Take a walk. We understand that you may not have a lot of time to go to the gym this time of year, but you don’t have to forego exercise altogether. Do some stretching or yoga before or after a big event. Take a long walk or jump on a stationary bike for some quick cardio before the family comes over. It will help keep your mood stabilized and help you feel more in control.
Learn How to Say “No”
Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is just say no. It’s a hard skill to master, especially if you’re a people pleaser the way so many of us are. However, learning to say no to some events can keep you from over-extending yourself. The less stressed you feel, and the more you give yourself moments of self-care, the easier it will be to resist unhealthy coping mechanisms. Just remember: you don’t have to try everyone’s dessert, just to be nice. You don’t have to go to each and every event on your social calendar. There’s something really powerful about putting your own health first. So, go ahead and be extra choosy about what you say “yes” to this year. It’s allowed. You deserve it.
Don’t Wait Until January to Change Your Life; Do it Now
It’s so tempting to say, “I’ll start a healthy life in January.” But why wait weeks to feel better about yourself? You don’t have to wait until New Year’s Day to “get back on track” or start healthy habits. There’s a more balanced way to think about your health and well-being, and you can start it right now.
If you’d like to learn more about the life-coaching programs Maureen offers, let us know! We’d love to give you tools for living a better life. Just think of it as a holiday gift to yourself.