How to Enjoy the Holidays Without Ever Worrying About Weight Gain

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.

holiday weight gain

 

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.

 

Potlucks

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.

 

Eat intuitively

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!

 

 

Happy Holidays,

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Why I don’t have a Christmas Tree this Year + Beating Holiday Stress

holiday stress

It’s a busy time of year for all of us with holiday events, commitments, traveling, deadlines at work, too much spending, shopping for gifts, cooking, and overall a whole lot of holiday stress. Oh wait, but isn’t it also supposed to be the most happiest time of year?

My husband is finishing up finals while I basically work two jobs– as a pharmacist and wellness coach 😉 In the past three weeks alone, we have driven to Florida, attended various holiday parties, been to a potluck, celebrated my husband’s birthday, my best friend visited for a weekend, we drove to Atlanta, GA andddd today we will be driving to Florida again.  When am I supposed to finish my Christmas shopping?! Bah Humbug!

Despite all the hustle and bustle that goes on, this really is my favorite time of year. The issue is that we all too often forget to take a minute to enjoy what’s really important.

My life seems pretty FULL, but I want to make sure it is  FULLfilling.

I decided not to decorate this year simply because I’ve been too busy and well, honestly, it’s just not worth it since I will only be home for two weeks, then off to Florida until after the New Year. Instead I will focus my energy on intentional and fulfilling activities like making plans to spend time with family and friends while in Florida, or working on my wellness business, staying on track with my nutrition and fitness, and reading books that feed my mind and spirit. These are things that help me grow, help me be a better person to others and strengthen my inner peace so that I can stand up tall when stress strikes. 

Instead of being overwhelmed by the holiday stress, why not allow yourself to embrace the happiest time of year?  It’s not about the perfect dress for the holiday party, getting the most expensive gift to give, or spending all of your time worrying about this or that. Focus on fulfilling, life-giving actions that are not just going to help you be your best self, but allow you to be so much more to others too.  

holiday stress

Here are a few of my simple tips to avoiding holiday stress:

  1. When buying gifts, set a budget – if you tend to overspend, then pay for all of your purchases with cash
  2. Don’t worry about finding the perfect gift– You should love the giver more than the gift.  After all, it’s the thought that matters and if they really don’t like it, most gifts can be returned or exchanged.
  3. Make the holidays more low key– if you don’t get around to decorating or to sending out your annual christmas cards, don’t sweat it. Life WILL go on.
  4. Stay away from toxic people– spending time with some of your family or friends may not be the most relaxing part of your holiday so limit your time with these people into bite-sized portions so they don’t kill your happy holiday vibes.
  5. Express Gratitude– every single day, take a moment to think of all of your blessings and see how much life anxiety is alleviated with this practice.
  6. Stick to your regular diet – Yes, all of the food around the holidays is delicious, but if you find yourself skipping meals just to be ready for big dinners, you might actually find yourself eating more. Enjoy the good food and decadent desserts,go for it, but in moderation.
  7. If you do eat too much, don’t beat yourself up about it – It is the holidays, after all, and only comes once a year. Forgive yourself an indulgence and do better the next day 🙂

 

Less stress, more joy!  Ask yourself, if your holiday season is FULL or FULL-filling? What can you do to avoid stress, and instead, be more intentional about enjoying this Christmas? 

 

Happy Holidays,

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