The holidays are here! Did you survive Thanksgiving? Somehow this part of the year either brings out the best in people… or the worst. As this year comes to a close and a new one begins, a lot of people fret about gaining unwanted weight over the holidays. I thought I would dish out a few helpful tips to get you through the holidays and beyond so that you can feel great and enjoy the time you spend around this holiday season.
Now is not the time to do anything extreme with your diet. Since the holidays can be stressful for a lot of people, it is important to understand that any new habits or behaviors you try to enact that you cannot perform even on your “worst day” is unlikely to be successful.
You have to be able to make progress even on those bad days, because those stressful days are the ones that derail you. So take it easy on yourself! Any habit that you are trying to form must be doable even on your worst day ever. If not, that habit may not be strong enough or simple enough.
Here are five helpful tips to survive the holidays, while still enjoying yourself and the food you eat:
Tip #1: Focus on adding in healthy options vs. taking things away
It’s natural to want to stay away from things that may not be good for you, but around the holidays I want you to instead think about what you could add that is healthy. Could you add more servings of veggies? Could you eat more lean protein? Could you drink more water? If you focus on healthy additions, you will be more inclined to enjoy yourself and be more realistic about how much of the “not so healthy” things you consume.
Tip #2: If you do splurge, enjoy every single bite of it
No guilt trips, no feeling bad afterwards. If you decide to go for it, go for it 100% and feel great about your decision without any negative judgments or emotions. Own your decision and enjoy every bite of it.
Tip #3: Slow down and take your time
Food is meant to be enjoyed – especially around the holidays with the people you love. Take your time while eating, and appreciate what you have in front of you. By doing so you will better be able to tell when you are truly full, and you may find that you’re satisfied after that first piece of pie!
Tip #4: Start out with a smaller portion
Only put a reasonable portion for you to eat on your plate. If you put a little less than you normally would, you will probably be content. If not, you can always go back for seconds. Our eyes are often bigger than our stomach, which means we often load up our plates – especially when it’s buffet style! If you combine this with slowing down you will feel amazing and not hit the overly stuffed mark.
Tip #5: Eat a healthy breakfast and lunch before the main event
A lot of people skip meals to save up for the main event meal. This sets you up to overeat during the main meal. It also messes with your metabolism! If you eat meals prior to the main event you are less likely to overeat, less likely to over-indulge, and less likely to feel sick.
BONUS Tip #6: Breathe!
If all else fails, just remember to breathe! Literally take a breather and create space for yourself. Breathing in through your nose for 2 counts and breathing out of your mouth for 6 counts can do wonders for your body, your sanity, and your ability to stay composed in stressful moments. Reset and re-center with your own breath. It feels amazing.
I hope you have an amazing holiday season and enjoy the rest of 2016. As we close another incredible year we appreciate you and love the opportunity to help you feel amazing in your body and in your life. Keep striving, keep thriving, and keep taking care of yourself in 2017. It’s simply the best gift you could give yourself.