Healthy eating and self-care don’t have to stay in the car when you arrive at grandma’s house. Or behind a locked door as a neighbor stands on the front porch bearing homemade treats.
Even amid Christmas cookies and egg nog, we can thrive this holiday season. We can stay on track with exercise and hydration, and even at appropriate times share our new-found knowledge with others who also may be looking for a better way.
How to do it?
It takes some courage, some planning, and a mindset shift.
Start by reflecting on your overall healthy-body focus.
Ask yourself, what happens to my body when I eat too much, or too many rich foods? How do I feel? How are my emotions? And what happens when I don’t exercise or get enough rest?
Let your desire to NOT feel that way fuel your positive steps.
Next, think about what your reboot plan will be.
At the holidays, it can be easy to think, “I was off plan yesterday; what’s the point today? I’ll get restarted after the first of the year.” The problem is, when you reach the New Year up several pounds and feeling crummy, you’ll beat yourself up for not having started earlier. It’s a vicious cycle.
So get back on track with the next meal. And look for a bigger Reboot plan perhaps for after the holidays.
Another way to reset is by re-focusing on rest, hydration, exercise, and eating lots of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other lean protein.
Look at 5 tips for surviving holiday food fests:
- Keep drinking enough water and taking your supplements. Both will help reduce cravings and hunger.
- Fill up on healthy foods first, either before heading to the party or, once there, by surveying the entire spread first and starting with the healthiest. We call this technique “crowding out,” because you have less room for the unhealthy options when you start by taking in the healthy options first.
- Ask yourself, when facing the food assortment, what am I hungry for? Survey it all, and trust your instincts when you feel drawn to certain foods. Are you craving a certain taste – sweet or salty? Or do you want a certain texture – creamy, crunchy, or soft?
- Ask yourself, what do I need at this meal? Am I eating for nutrition, stress reduction, weight loss, vitamin/mineral intake, or simply social reasons?
- Select your indulgence and plan to take 3 bites. Chances are, after the third bite, you’ll be satisfied. The first bite wakes up your palette. After, cleanse your palette with water, a sip of wine, or even a piece of ginger. The second bite is for flavor. The third bite is for pleasure. With each, chew slowly and enjoy the experience. After the third bite, assess whether you’re ready to be done. If not, have another third bite. You’ll know when you’re comfortably full.
If you follow this system this holiday season, you’ll be more likely to avoid the cycle of denying yourself, eating without thinking, and then feeling guilt.
What tips do you have for maintaining your healthy lifestyle into the New Year? Please include those in the comments below. Also, if you know of someone who could benefit from these tips, please share.
Thanks for stopping by! I’m Amy Hoogervorst, an integrative health coach offering grace and space for a healthier you. I’d love to hear from you and get to know you better. If you’re new here and don’t want to miss a thing, be sure to CLICK HERE to subscribe to the newsletter and updates.