I’m bringing this back from last Christmas on the blog – it’s just too good not to share especially because we all know that the holidays bring a lot of worry and temptation when it comes to food – especially if your trying to reach weight loss goals or maintain a healthy weight.
When the holidays come around it’s so common to see an attitude of restriction and self punishment for indulging, then more self-hate, and just a vicious cycle of this. So my solution is to try encourage everyone to try their best to adapt a positive attitude and find balance over the holiday season – hopefully by doing this, everyone can still really enjoy themselves and all that comes with the season, but maintain boundaries and balance while doing so!
So, how do we go about finding balance?
1. Accept the inevitable. Unless you are planning on staying home like a hermit, you are likely going to be bombarded by treats, sweets, chocolates, snacks, chips, nut mixes, all things yummy and a little indulgent. It’s going to happen, there’s really no way of escaping it. So, don’t be ignorant and pretend it’s just not gonna happen, then feel bad when you cave… instead set up a game plan on how to deal with these temptations and … yep, keep the balance.
2. Have a “Safe Zone”. You aren’t going to be LIVING in a Christmas party over the holiday season, even though it might seem like you have 1,000 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 to buy treats, and send them off with guests as they leave!) and eat your best while you are there! Don’t tempt yourself even more while just sitting at home by having the Toblerone on the counter, or the Pot of Gold on the coffee table –save those temptations for when you are out and about and deal with them there!
3. Keep normalcy in your routine throughout the day. Don’t “save room” to binge at a party or gathering, then you are really setting yourself up for a doozy! This not only throws off your balance but is totally counterproductive. You are basically signalling to your body to store every little calorie from that binge you have at the party, rather than burning it off, and your likely to eat even MORE than you would if you just ate normally throughout the day before the party. Eat your breakfast, snacks, lunch,and by the time you get to your party, you won’t indulge like you would if you went there ravenous. Also, the amount that you do eat, won’t be automatically tossed into fat storage either!
4. Stay Hydrated (with H20!). It’s no doubt for those who drink, the booze intake goes up around the Holidays. Christmas cheer, right? If you aren’t a drinker, I bet you indulge in Eggnog, punch, and those other high calorie non-alcholic bevy’s too! Either way, it’s a whole lot of empty calories and an invitation for some major water retention. So, I’m not saying don’t have any booze, or a special drink, but balance it out with lots of water! For every alcoholic (or specialty) drink you consume, drink 2 glasses (big glasses) of water! You’ll stay nice and hydrated, ward off water retention (and a nasty hangover), and consume less empty calories!
5. Stay Active! Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean it’s time to take a break from exercise too. 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. Plus you’ll just feel better for it! When you exercise, don’t think of it as punishment because you indulged, rather think of it as treating your body with love, because you LOVE your body and all it is capable of!
6. Indulge! Yes, that’s right… indulge! Christmas and New Years only comes around once a year, and you are allowed to have a treat! BUT, stay accountable! Don’t go off the rockers! If you want some dessert, or chocolate, have a small amount, and savour it. If you want mashed potatoes smothered in gravy… do it,just have a small portion, then maybe skip on the dinner bun! 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, then you’ll just end up feeling bad about it. Find balance by having some extras here and saying I’ll pass somewhere else.
7. Don’t fret a couple lbs. It’s common to gain a few over the holidays, but believe me, if you don’t go totally overboard you’ve likely put on a few lbs 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 going to be water retention. So stay on track with your exercise, get back to your regular eating routine, and your body will shake off those few excess lbs!
I’m feeling armed and ready to take on this holiday season! I feel that keeping the balance will allow me to still enjoy the holidays fully and come out just as healthy in the end, body AND mind!
Have a wonderful weekend! We are off to the first of many Christmas gatherings with family this weekend, and I plan to embrace a whole lot of B A L A N C E !
Nutritionist in the Kitch