How to Have a Healthy Holiday Season

healthy holiday season
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For those of us who have made efforts to have a healthy holiday season and still end up gaining some weight, the holidays can get really stressful when we want to break the pattern this holiday season.

It all starts around Halloween…

When all of the trick-or-treat candy you bought doesn’t get given out and now it’s just sitting there staring at you sometimes even yelling “EAT ME!”

And then comes Thanksgiving with all of the good food and desserts, when having the “itis” from overeating is expected.

Then comes Christmas where you’re expected to stuff yourself at multiple meals because you have to visit both sides of the family. And Mom’s and Grandmothers are always trying to make sure you have seconds.

Oh! And don’t forget all of the office parties and the goodies that get brought in.

Sounds… hectic.. like a minefield, right?!

Well, I gotchu!

The tips that I use to get through the holiday season aren’t super duper hidden secrets of anything, but it’s more about getting into the spirit of the season with yourself not just with others.

Tip #1

Eat mindfully by filling your plate with more vegetables than starches

Fill your plate with lots of veggies, salad, even some green bean casserole, if you want it. Then add some protein and fill the remainder of your plate with starchy things like stuffing and mashed potatoes. This way you have made sure to prioritize the healthiest options.

Tip # 2

Forget you’re on a diet and enjoy yourself

Picture sitting around the table with your family and everyone is laughing and enjoying themselves, but you’re calculating how many calories you’ve eaten and making sure that you haven’t overeaten.. and did I forget those cracker’s I had before dinner?.. Just stop!

Eat mindfully, but don’t stress out about how much you’ve eaten and how much you think you need to exercise to burn it off.

Enjoy the holiday and company around you. There is more to life than losing weight. Enjoy it when you can.

How to stay healthy during the holiday season. Don't let the holidays get the best of your diet and health. Enjoy yourself, but don't over indulge!

Tip # 3

Calorie Balance

Calorie balance over a period of time is more important than making sure to hit your exact numbers day in and day out. If you go over a bit, eat a little less the next day, but don’t punish yourself by starving yourself if you went over. Life is about balance. Not being super strict with yourself all the time.

Tip # 4

Don’t let one meal ruin everything

If I had to choose just one tip to help me have a healthy holiday season.. this would be it.

This is really all about the all or nothing mentality. Most people who end up quitting on their diet, quit because they messed up once and said “screw it, might as well forget about it.” Try this instead: “I messed up this one time, but I can get back on track on my next meal or tomorrow.”

Don’t take the easy route and just give up. The more that you challenge your thoughts about mess ups, the easier it will be to get back on track and the better the relationship that you will have with food.

Tip # 5

Bring your own healthy dish to fill up on

This is one way to make sure that there is something healthy on the table that you feel good eating. It also makes you feel good when you know you are giving healthy options to your family and friends. Check out some healthy recipes that you can make easily and bring.

Tip # 6

Don’t freak out if you miss a workout

Working out can be therapeutic or neurotic, depending on who you are. Missing a workout can cause anxiety, which just ends up ruining the holiday season for you and those around you.

If you really need to, get in a short workout in the morning before the festivities start, but don’t freak out if you miss a few workouts, or even a weeks worth! Your muscle isn’t going to shrivel away and it’s going to be really hard to gain 5 pounds of FAT in one week. Try some short HIIT style workouts in the living room, or even going for a short run. Don’t let perfection ruin a healthy holiday.

Tip # 7

Drink Water

This sounds simple, but when there are tons of fruit cocktails and creamy egg nogs going around, drinking water just sounds.. well.. bland and unfestive. Drinking enough water will not only help you feel full and prevent some extra snacking, but it will help you to flush out all of the water weight that you may be holding from all that delicious food.

How to stay healthy during the holiday season. Don't let the holidays get the best of your diet and health. Enjoy yourself, but don't over indulge!

Tip # 8

Involve the Family in your workouts

If you really feel the need to workout on the holidays, try involving your family and making it a family event. They’re eating the same food you are after all.. Share the health with them and include them in a short circuit, or a morning walk in the brisk air (I really do have hope for some fall weather to show up, can’t you tell?)

Tip # 9

Self Care

When the holiday season is in full swing, things can get hectic and that means more stress. When you get stressed, your body reacts and can sometimes cause weight gain. Reducing stress by taking care of yourself  by continuing your self care or even upping your self care routine can do loads to reduce stress and reduce weight gain. Check out some super simple self care ideas + my own self care routine.

Tip # 10

Get Enough Zzz’s

IN helping to reduce stress, you don’t want to give up the sleep routine that you normally have. Reducing your sleep during times of stress can reduce or complete negate any efforts that you have done to be healthy and lose some weight. A study recently found that reduced sleep led to higher stress and subjects were more likely to overeat than their counter parts who got 7-9 hours of sleep.

Don’t let the holiday season ruin your health and weight loss efforts. Keep it simple, and don’t stress out. Most of all, enjoy yourself. Health is a marathon that never ends, not a short sprint.

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