Holiday season is here and between work functions, parties and family get togethers, food and drinks are everywhere! You just can’t avoid it. You might be stressing out because you have worked so hard all year to reach your health and wellness goals and don’t want to fall off the wagon because of the holidays. YOU WON’T! You just need to be wise and aware of your surroundings so you stay on track and don’t overindulge! It will be hard… BUT … it is possible!
Here are 8 ways to Stay on Track During the Holiday Season
Don’t go shopping hungry
You are more likely to stop by the food court or get a sugary drink to keep your energy up while you shop.
– Eat a well – rounded breakfast, lunch or dinner so you’re not hungry when you go shopping.
– Pack snacks in your purse – mix nuts, homemade granola bars or energy balls
– Pack a water bottle to keep you hydrated
Don’t let your temptations of baking and chocolate consume you at work
You are probably tempted to eat that baked good buffet at the front desk or eat the entire box of turtles on your desk.
– Keep healthier snacks at work so you can satisfy that sweet or salty craving without going overboard on the treats during the holidays.
– Have some homemade trail mix, energy balls, yogurt, crackers, vegetables and hummus first and than maybe treat yourself to 1 thing!
Don’t go to a dinner party starving
You will probably stand right next to the appetizers and over – fill your plate with too much food that is full of butter or cream.
– Eat something healthy before you go to dinner
– Try natural peanut butter on a whole wheat piece of toast, or hummus and vegetables to fill you up
Don’t stress about the unhealthy food that might be at the party
People tend to go overboard during the holidays. They somehow feel the need to make enough food to feed the entire country. Out of all that food, there is usually only 1 or 2 healthy dishes to eat and your stomach starts hating you right away with all the rich foods you’re about to eat.
– Bring your own healthy dish to the party. Offer to bring a quinoa salad, roasted vegetables or a healthier dessert so at least you can fill a lot of your plate up with that so you feel better during and after dinner.
Don’t grab the big dinner plate and fill it to the rim
We tend to overfill our plates with all the yummy food and usually feel the need to eat it all because that’s how we were raised … to eat everything on your plate before you were allowed to play!
– Grab the small salad plate
– Fill most of your plate with leafy greens, vegetables, protein and save a small space for the foods that may not be as good for you. I have never told my clients to avoid eating something. We should have a healthy relationship with food, and to deprive our self, in my opinion, is not a healthy way to live. Moderation people!
Don’t be lazy on the couch!
After we eat too much, serotonin and other hormones are released and can lead to drowsiness. Turkey, for example contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which is used by the body to secrete serotonin. This is why we want to sit on the rocking chair or lay down on the couch and have a nap.
– Make a point after you eat to go outside and get some fresh air. Start a new family tradition. Go for a walk, play a game of hockey or take the kids to the park to burn off some of those calories.
– Make a point to schedule in gym time or a spin class. I don’t see why we need to be around our family 24/7. Go early in the morning so you feel refreshed and a sense of accomplishment.
Those liquid calories add up!
Let’s admit it, we all take our turn during the holidays to drink too much and wake up the next morning with a nasty hangover. Rye and coke or vodka and 7-UP are great … but the combination of the ethanol, sugar overload and dehydration is why you have a headache the next day.
– Choose your drink of choice WISELY!
– If you were to chose a drink: red wine, basic bloody Mary with fresh tomato juice, mimosas with fresh orange juice, sangria with lots of fresh fruit and no added sugar or brandy.
– HYDRATE! Drink lots of water while you are drinking … your body and head will thank you!
Try not to party all night every night
When we get together with friends and family we want to stay up late and laugh or drink. But when you do this night after night, your body might start to shut down, cortisol levels might stay elevated, you start craving something sweet or salty and than you wonder why your belly looks bloated and there are bags under your eyes.
– Get some sleep! Your body needs 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night so it can function properly the next day
– Make sure you are staying Hydrated and drink 7-10 glasses or water a day
AS you can see … it is possible to stay on track during the holiday season. You just need to stay focused on what your goals are for the holiday season. I know I feel way better about myself and my mood is way happier when I eat healthier and stay active during the holidays!
Remember, the holiday are a time for cheer and happiness … so enjoy it! ALL IN MODERATION!