Happy Thanksgiving everyone! The holiday season has officially arrived. There is something special about breaking bread together and enjoying good food. Usually the food is a little too good and we tend to overindulge leading to that infamous holiday weight gain… or is that just what happens to me?!
A few years ago, I would worry so much about gaining weight over the holidays. I would skip meals, so I could indulge at a potluck or obsessively exercise to mitigate the damage of a big, unhealthy meal. This was not only stressful, but totally inefficient. Every year I would end up gaining weight, feeling bloated, tired, and like a failure. Then in January I would join the masses in recommitting to healthy lifestyle changes.
This cycle was exhausting and no way to live.
I wanted to enjoy the holidays in a healthy way, including the FOOD– without guilt or stress. You, too, can make peace with your plate and enjoy a stress free holiday without worrying about gaining weight.
First, you must make up your mind and prioritize committing to a healthier relationship with food and your body.
Next, incorporate these simple strategies into your holiday social calendar and reap the benefits.
Take the focus OFF the food.
Focus on fun, family and friends. Often I’m so busy socializing that I forget to eat or end up eating less!
Don’t Skip Meals
Skipping meals to save up your calories for later on will backfire. You’ll end up eating much more than you normally would have, because you’re so hungry. This causes your body to store more of the excess calories as fat.
You don’t have to starve all day to earn your dinner. Before the big meal, eat lighter meals like smoothies, salads, fruits and veggies throughout the day instead.
Build a Better Plate
You’re face to face with a beautiful spread of delicious foods. What do you put on your plate?
Fill up on fruits, vegetables and salads to get your nutrients. These foods usually have fewer calories and will fill you up quicker, preventing over doing it on mom’s stuffing.
Go easy on the calorically dense options, specifically dessert. Of course you will and definitely should enjoy some pie but limit yourself to one slice. Try not to have one of every dessert on the table, but if you must, then at least share with someone.
If you don’t LOVE it, don’t eat it.
Sometimes a few bites is all you need, then move on to the next thing on your plate.
Don’t Drink Your Calories
Alcoholic drinks, sodas or juices are big culprits for weight gain.That wine or cocktail you’re sipping on can easily and quickly add up to the same amount of calories in a full meal.
Sip slowly. Hydrate with water between drinks. Limit the number of drinks you consume.
I don’t know about you, but I much rather eat my calories than drink them.
Eat Before You Eat
Never go to a food gathering hungry. Having a satisfying snack before going out will help you have more control over your food choices and portions.
Stay Consistent with Exercise
The holidays bring about a lot of stress and hustling & bustling. This is a time of year you need to workout more than ever because exercise helps you combat stress. You’ll instantly be in a better mood and equipped to handle whatever curveballs come your way. It’s also a great way to balance out some of the extra calories you’ll likely be consuming. However, it’s super important to remember that you don’t, and should never, feel like you must exercise to eat. Exercise to maintain your weight and to feel energized, focused, strong and healthy.
If you’re going to a potluck style gathering, be that person that to bring a healthier dish. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. I usually bring some fruit, a green salad, or just simple roasted veggies.
Listen to your body’s cues. Does it feel full? Bloated? How will you feel tomorrow? Are you eating in a way that nourishes and honors your body, or the opposite? Be sure to chew your food and enjoy how it tastes. Eating mindfully will help you stop eating when you’re full.
And if you accidentally go overboard... Be kind to your body, forgive yourself, let it go, and do better tomorrow.
Now go enjoy that pumpkin pie, girl! Feel confident that you are going to make better choices this holiday season and maintain a healthy weight.
When you’re eating right, you feel energized and vibrant. People around you pick up on that, and without even realizing it you’re inspiring them to live better, too.
Living a healthy lifestyle is about eating well, feeling good and celebrating life, so go do that!
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