Day 7 – My Top 10 Tips for Surviving the Holidays!
It is the most wonderful time of the year! The sights and sounds of Christmas are all around us. We are surrounded by so much laughter, joy and food…lots and lots of food. For me Christmas is my favorite time of year, but has also been one of the most challenging time of year to stay committed to my health and fitness goals. In the past I have completely deprived myself from enjoying anything food related around the holidays. I stuck to my food plan, and wouldn’t even allow myself one bite of a Christmas cookie. To be honest, this really made me sad to feel that way. On the other hand, I have also allowed myself to REALLY indulge and that only left me more miserable than before. Over the years, I have found a healthy balance of not completely depriving myself and at the same time not going completely overboard. With Christmas being about a week away, I thought I would share my “Top 10 Tips to Surviving the Holidays.” I am hoping that by sharing my tips, I can help you not stress over the parties and gatherings that you go to, but go in confident that you can enjoy yourself while still keeping your health and fitness goals in mind.
Tip 1. Exercise – It is important get a good workout in, not only to burn some calories but to start the day off with a healthy frame of mind.
Tip 2. Drink lots and lots and…LOTS of water.
Tip 3. Never arrive hungry. It is very important to make sure that you eat your healthy foods throughout the day and not save all of your calories. If you show up hungry because you haven’t eaten all day, you will end up going crazy and eating everything in sight.
Tip 4. Look at all of the snacks, appetizers, treats, desserts and the meal before you eat anything. Try to only eat the foods that you really want, instead of eating everything.
Tip 5. When making your selections for what you are going to eat, I recommend picking things that are only around during the holidays. I would choose my grandma’s chocolate fudge that she only makes for Christmas over a chocolate chip cookie that I can treat myself to any time of year.
Tip 6. Remember you are in control! You have the choice of what you put into your mouth and what you don’t. It is much easier to go with the mindset that “Yes… I can have that and I’m choosing not to” rather than “No I can’t have that.”
Tip 7. Be mindful to sit or stand away from the food. This way you do not just stand there and casually eat while not even thinking about it or only eating because it is right in front of you.
Tip 8. Bring your own healthy salad, side dish or snack to share with everyone. This way you know that if you are still hungry or need a little something else to snack on that you have a healthy option.
Tip 9. Try to fill your plate with meats/proteins, veggies, and fruit before adding the extras or sides. Be mindful of your portions. You do not need to fill your plate or eat everything that is on it if your plate if it is served to you.
Tip 10. Enjoy yourself! Life does not have to revolve around food, so don’t make it. Life is about spending time with family and friends and the memories that you make, not about the food that you did or did not eat.
So that’s it, my top tips for surviving the holidays. I really hope these tips help, and remember, at the end of the day you are only human. If you end up eating more than you planned, it will be ok. So put on your Christmas sweater and party shoes and go out and maybe even eat a cookie or two but remember… Santa is always watching.