Eat Healthy During the Holidays? Yeah, Right!
This season let's all try to avoid this statement: “After the holidays, I’m going to start.” Kick that mindset to the curb. Start now. You can still rock around the Christmas tree, it's just that this year, you won't feel like someone secretly shrunk your pants in the dryer. It honestly isn’t too hard for the holidays, you just have to attack your healthy living with the same gusto that you attack that Christmas shopping list.
Most of the time we really don’t have a burning desire to decorate gingerbread houses with the little ones, we just know that gingerbread houses = massive amounts of candy that you might accidentally eat 42 pieces of. The truth is, if we didn’t want to have that candy, we would be building Christmas log cabins with the kids out of popsicle sticks. That way nothing sweet and tempting would be scattered about on the kitchen table.
It's all about avoiding temptation and getting our mindset right. It is possible to live a healthy lifestyle, but you have to believe that you can do it. It has to start with you. To get you started, I've complied a list of tips that will help for this holiday season.
1. This is the season to believe, so start by believing in yourself. You may think, well, that honestly seems just a little too simple. But some people, when setting a goal, will tell themselves, ‘this is going to be soooooooo hard.’ Instead tell yourself, ‘I am going to do this.’ I mean literally, tell yourself. Speak it out loud, put notes around your room, your kitchen, wherever. Write out encouragement for yourself!
2. Avoid temptation. This doesn’t mean that you have to become the Grinch and avoid every holiday party as you sit in isolation in your living room with a Shape Magazine on your lap. On the other hand, you don’t have to make seven trips to that amazing homemade chocolate place to get candy for everyone and their mother, where you end up buying three boxes for yourself. This year, get people candles or gift cards instead. Be creative, outside of the sweets department.
3. Prepare. I’m sure that your spinach and artichoke dip is to die for, but it's killing you on the calories. When you go to holiday parties, bring a healthy option that you like, so this way you can't use the infamous excuse, “there was nothing healthy to eat there, so I just ate all desserts.” A fruit tray with a variety of cheeses or a veggie tray with reduced fat dip are two great options.
4. Drink! …………. “now she is talking!” Well, I’m actually talking about drinking water. So many people will mistake thirst for hunger when really all they need is a tall glass of H2o.
5. The gym doesn’t close in December. Try not to get that seasonal allergy to the gym this year. Stick with your workout routine! Get a workout buddy to hold you accountable, work with a personal trainer, get into those exercise classes! Keep your body moving, it will thank you afterwards.
6. Your wish list. Think of a couple of gifts to put on your list that are going to motivate you to get to work! Maybe you want a new dry-fit workout outfit, or an iTunes gift card to get some amazing music that motivates you to move! When we get new things, we want to try them right away… and hot sneakers are looking better than hot chocolate mix this year.
7. Pie has portion sizes, too. Sometimes you have to try that homemade pie that your best friend made, but you don’t need a quarter of the pie to feel satisfied. Take small bites and put your fork down to talk in between. Our minds aren’t on the same page as our stomachs, so sometimes it takes our brains a few minutes to realize that we are, in fact, full.
8. Doggy-bags are for dogs. You don’t want leftovers. There. I just made your mind up for you. You don’t need to take home cookies on a plate from that party, and you don’t need to take home that extra bacon burger from the restaurant. Unless the leftovers are leafy and green and resemble something like a chicken breast, it's best just to pass.
9. Sleep. I feel like a hypocrite writing this one. I know what its like to be so busy you don’t feel its physically possible to get it all done, but even if you have 20 minutes between doing errands, working, and taking the kids to basketball, take the nap. Little rest and poor nutrition cause our cortisol levels to spike. That's our stress hormone, and we want it as low as possible.
10. Happy for the Holidays. Keep your spirits up and play music that puts you in a great mood! The happier you are, the better you feel. You want to feel good all year long, but this is the perfect season to start feeling even better! Oh, and smileeeeeee. You look more attractive that way.
*Kate is a Personal Trainer at Elevations Health Club.
To receive more information on nutrition and weight loss, please request the Elevations special report on How to Lose Weight Sensibly!