I love the holiday season and everything it entails. From pumpkin bread to hot chocolate to Christmas dinner, there are so many festive things to eat and drink! I’m in my third holiday season where I feel like I have my eating and drinking under control and can indulge in lots of yummy things but still not feel guilty. This is what I’ve learned through years of experience and what works for me in terms of staying healthy and happy over the holidays. Moderation!
Stop Eating When I Feel Satisfied
I try to never actually feel full. As soon as I feel satisfied I stop eating. This helps me to not feel bloated and unhappy that I overdid it. As long as I do this, I don’t feel guilty eating things that aren’t super healthy, because I ate a regular sized portion and stopped before getting stuffed.
Even if it is just a quick walk around the neighborhood, exercise helps me to feel good about myself when I am eating more treats than normal. My favorite workouts during the busy holidays are quick strength routines, and walking and running. It is easy to fit in a fast workout and I typically try to think “Something is better than nothing” during the holidays.
Staying hydrated is super important when eating and drinking more than normal. The obvious reasons for staying hydrated when drinking- the more water you drink the better you feel the next day. Also, I often find that when I feel hungry, I am in need of water. I usually try to drink a glass of water before I eat something if it is too early for a real meal, because sometimes my body shows its thirst with hunger.
Two Drink Maximum
I never used to adhere to this policy, but now that I am a mom, I almost never have more than two drinks in a day, and this helps with moderation. I am in control of myself, I don’t want to eat lots of junk food, and I feel fine the next day. I am much more pick y with my drinks these days, since I know I won’t be having tons of them. I like to drink wine, or a good IPA. Telling myself two is the most I can have helps me to drink slowly and enjoy the taste, and prevents hangovers. Hangovers also lead to McDonald’s and pizza, which makes one night of overindulging turn into a whole weekend.
Eat Normally Most of the Time
The holiday season is just that- a season. There are plenty of days that are regular weekdays that don’t involve parties or fun. On these days I do my best to eat what I normally do, and not indulge in extra treats. This makes the parties and weekends that much more enjoyable because I feel like I earned it.
Most importantly, I just tell myself to relax. The holidays are meant to be fun and enjoyable, and worrying about calories or the scale ruins the fun. It is a short time, and everything goes back to normal in January.