Holiday eating. You know that time of annual time of year when you are around family, friends and co-workers and celebrate the festivities with food; lots of it.
It really starts with Halloween. All the extra candy you have from not enough ghoulish goblins and fairytale princesses appearing at your front door. All that sinful chocolate and sugary candy is too good to go to waste, right? So day after day, you work at emptying the candy bowl until it’s empty.
Next, just when all the candy is gone and you are feeling guilty for your overindulgence on sweet treats, it’s time for some turkey and trimmings, not to mention the endless choices of pies and desserts. Were stuffing, mash potatoes, corn bread and lots of leftovers mentioned? Then come Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. More celebrations and more food! An extra bite of cheese, another sip of alcohol, one more cookie…who is going to notice? Before you know it, your waistline to clothing is snug. Ugh!
While tasty and mindfully rewarding during the moment, eating mindlessly or emotionally for pure enjoyment or release during the holidays is neither wise nor healthy. It easily can play havoc on your body, put on extra inches on your waistline, and possibly throw your regular eating habits so far off that it’s tough climb to get back on track. Then, before you know it, it’s New Year’s Eve and one of your very first resolutions, as it is every year, is to lose the weight.
Let this holiday season be different. Resist overindulging and packing on the unnecessary and unwanted pounds. Here are 10 survival tips to make through the holidays.
You’re reading this article so you are cognizant you may fall victim to holiday overeating and acknowledgement is a positive start. Realizing and admitting are the first steps in any prevention. Start planning and get prepared. The road is about to get bumpy!
Your mind is powerful and deep down, you know you have what it takes to be in control. So, use it. When wanting to eat, use your hungry scale. On a scale of 1 to 10, how hungry are you? Is it mealtime? Are you actually hungry? Is your body actually thirsty? Use the determination and restraint powers you have from within and resist eating when you’re not and overindulgences.
You are what you eat. Maintain a healthy balanced diet with the proper food intake quantities and calorie count and avoid trigger foods, sugar, refined fructose, grains, and processed food. It may help to keep a food journal since recording your food intakes will make you more conscious and personal feeling of accountable. If you’re hungry in between meals, find a health 150-calorie snack to hold you over.
With the onset of fall and winter comes the nature desire to want to stay in and hibernate. But don’t! Continuing your workouts is a must. The inclement weather and shorter days are all the more reason to keep exercising. Maintain regular strength training to fight off muscle loss and boost metabolism plus cardio for the calorie burn. If extra incentive is needed, add a new class or sport, such as aerobics and kickboxing or skiing and ice skating for a new fitness surge.
Less ideal weather should not equate to less activities. When at home, don’t get too comfortable on your couch. The last thing you want to do is fall into a rut of watching TV as your main activity with a big bowl of munchies in your lap. Instead, get moving and get involved. Stay active and keep busy to prevent snacking to sooth your boredom and winter blues.
Never EVER go to a party hungry or once you arrive you will head straight to the table of food and gorge on all the bite-size snacks with sneaky mounting calories. Instead, and before you feel guilty for overindulging, chow down on high-fiber fruits and vegetables to curb your appetite beforehand. Once you’re at the party, select from the healthiest selections, stop when your stomach feels full and put physical distance between yourself and the food.
It is the time for holiday cheer. But unfortunately, alcohol is just loaded with high calories, especially mixed cocktails. Without realizing it, you can easily drink as many calories that you consume in one meal, and perhaps more. Instead, it’s best to avoid alcohol and it’s empty calories all together. Or limit your drinks and sip a glass of water in between to help dilute calories.
Get on a regular sleep pattern and aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Not enough shuteye causes an imbalance with of the ghrelin and leptin hormones, which normally work in harmony in maintaining weight. Consistent less sleep causes an imbalance. Also, avoid caffeine in the afternoon and avoid eating 3 to 4 hours before bed for a solid good night’s rest.
Watching what NOT to eat can be hard when temptations are almost everywhere you turn. So, surround yourself with family and friends who encourage your goal of not gaining. The emotional and mental support from a friend or family member who is cheering you on just might be the added incentive you need to make it through the holiday season.
- Damage Control
Overate? Not enough exercise or sleep? Don’t beat yourself over the slip and don’t continue on the path of construction. Just make up for it right away by cutting calories from you day, adding extra exercise, and getting to bed earlier for a couple nights.
Keep a commitment to yourself to nourish your body with only the healthiest foods available and without the unnecessary and unhealthy overindulgences. The more you succeed, the easier it will become. You have one body so keep this in front of mind so true and good to yourself!
Be Fit. Be Strong. Be Well.