The holiday season is upon us! I absolutely love the stretch from October to January because of all of the festivities, family, friends, and fun! It is easy to just let loose and forget about health, especially from Thanksgiving to New Years. It’s not worth it though! Trust me… I’ve done it.
Two years ago, I threw all caution to the wind and just ate and drank with abandon. I continued to work out, but no amount of exercise can offset mass quantities of desserts, wine, and delicious appetizers. I found myself at my highest weight ever that January, and going wedding dress shopping! I made some changes and lost a lot of weight, but it was hard work! I learned that no matter how fun it is to eat and drink whatever you want for 2 months, it’s not worth it!
Here are some things that work for me to maintain my weight and health goals, and not feel deprived.
Nothing is Off Limits
The minute I tell myself I can’t have something, I immediately want it. I used to tell myself I couldn’t have specific foods or desserts, and then I would feel deprived, and crabby. Now I know that I can eat everything I want, but in..
This is the biggest key to not going overboard and gaining weight at the holidays. I know that I can eat whatever I want at a specific party, so I choose what looks the very best and take a small portion of everything that I want. I fill up one plate of food, and one small plate of desserts, and that’s it. I try to not get seconds of things unless I truly am hungry.
Slow Down and Stop Before I Feel Full
I hate feeling overly stuffed after a decadent meal. It makes me feel bloated and gross. I check in with myself as I am eating and make sure to eat slowly. I also make a conscious effort to put down my fork and enjoy the conversation. As soon as I feel satisfied, I stop.
This is Not My Last Meal Ever.
I like to remind myself that these delicious mashed potatoes, or chocolate chip cookies, or this glass of red wine will indeed be consumed again by me in the future. This isn’t the last time I will have this food, and probably very soon again during the holiday season, I will eat something similar. This also goes along with the “nothing is off limits” mentality. If I think that tomorrow I will start being super healthy and this is my last day of eating badly, then I go overboard. If I think that I will have more treats in the very near future, it helps me to eat moderately.
Eat Healthy During the Week
Of course over the holidays there are plenty of parties and get togethers, but there are lots of regular days thrown in there too. I make sure I eat super healthy during the week, especially at work, when I can control what I am packing for my lunch. I resist the treats at work, and only eat what I packed for myself.
In between alcoholic drinks at a party, I always make sure to have a glass of water. This helps me to stay hydrated, and also helps me to drink less in general. It takes a while to drink a glass of water!
Eat Veggies With Every Meal
I always try to make sure I have some veggies with every meal, whether it is at a party, at a restaurant, or at home. This keeps at least part of the plate healthy.
I still maintain my activity level during the holidays. It is tempting to think that I will just worry about it in January, but it’s not worth it. Even a small amount of exercise each day goes a long way. If I am off of work, I will mix it up and go to a yoga class with a friend, or go for a run on a new route. I also keep the mentality that “Something is better than nothing”. I used to think that if my workout wasn’t torching hundreds of calories and at least 45 minutes long, it wasn’t worth it. Now I realize that even a quickie workout is good for the body!