When the holidays come around it’s so common to see an attitude of restriction and self punishment
for indulging, followed by more self-hate. My solution is to encourage everyone to
try their best to adapt a positive attitude and find balance over the holiday season.
So, how do we go about finding balance?
1. Accept the inevitable.
Unless you are planning on staying home, you are likely going to be
bombarded by treats, sweets, chocolates, snacks, chips, nut mixes and all things yummy. It’s
going to happen; there’s really no way of escaping it. So, set up a game plan on how to deal
with these temptations.
2. Have a safe zone.
While it may seem like you have 1,000 holiday parties to attend, you still
have your home-base, safety-zone, a place where you can plan what you eat, and stay in
control of what you get to eat and enjoy! So, try your best to make your home your healthy
haven. (If you are hosting a party, wait until the day of to buy treats, and send them off with
guests as they leave!) Don’t tempt yourself even more while just sitting at home by having the
holiday cookies on the counter or the candy dish on the coffee table.
3. Keep your routine.
Don’t “save room” to binge at a party or gathering. This not only throws off your balance but is totally counterproductive. You are basically signaling to your body to store every little calorie from that binge you have at the party, rather than burning it
off. You’re likely to eat even more than you would if you just ate normally throughout the day
before the party. Eat your breakfast, snacks and lunch, and by the time you get to your party,
you won’t indulge like you would if you went there ravenous.
4. Stay hydrated (with H20!).
Alcohol intake goes up around the holidays. Christmas cheer,
right? If you aren’t a drinker, I bet you indulge in eggnog, punch and other high-calorie nonalcoholic
picks, too. It’s a whole lot of empty calories and an invitation for some major water
retention. So, balance it out with lots of water. For every alcoholic (or specialty) drink you
consume, drink two big glasses of water. You’ll stay nice and hydrated, ward off water retention
and consume fewer empty calories.
5. Keep moving.
Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean it’s time to take a break from
exercise. You are likely going to be consuming some extra calories with the special meals and
treats around, so it’s even more important to keep on a good exercise routine. When you
exercise, don’t think of it as punishment because you indulged, but rather think of it as treating
your body with love, because you LOVE your body and all it is capable of!
Yes, that’s right… indulge! Christmas and New Year’s only come around once a
year, and you are allowed to have a treat. But stay accountable! If you want some dessert or
chocolate, have a small amount and savor it. If you want mashed potatoes smothered in
gravy… do it. Just have a small portion. If you go into it with a “NO, NO, NO, I can’t” attitude,
unless you’re rock-solid-crazy-willpower-superwoman-or-man, you’ll cave. And then you’ll just
end up feeling bad.
7. Don’t fret a couple of pounds.
It’s common to gain a few over the holidays. If you don’t
go totally overboard, you’ve likely put on a few pounds of water weight, and it will be off within
a week or two. Don’t think you’ve put on a few pounds of pure fat over just a few days. The
body doesn’t really work like that; it’s water retention. So stay on track with your exercise, get
back to your regular healthy eating routine and your body will shake off those few excess
pounds in no time.
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