The Holidays can be Stressful.
In more ways than one. The impending dread of endless treats. The uncontrollable noshing on high-calorie baked goods that we just KNOW won’t fit into our normal calorie budgets. Not only the dread around food, but the time we get together with family can be stressful and a little more than emotionally draining. This can increase anxiety and lower our usually-much-stronger self control (the control we would NORMALLY use to resist the temptations laid out in front of us).
Let’s add in the ease in which we feel obligated to go back to our normal, lazier habits when we are away or with family members, and our whole healthier routine we had started goes out the window.
And I’m not just talking about Christmas.
New Year’s drinks and Appies, Easter chocolate, Thanksgiving, Halloween candy, National Holiday Barbecues. Even Valentine’s day and birthdays are a reason for people to get together to eat, drink, and be merry.
Talk about a recipe for disaster.
But it doesn’t have to be if you can implement a few health-saving tips for ourselves.
Below are 8 helpful hacks that I use around the holidays to ensure I don’t make myself sick and over indulge on things I don’t actually want to. Keep these tips in mind for yourself when you’re in a different routine or environment over the holidays (where it’s easier to pretend the 5 peppermint brownies don’t count in our macros).
8 Tips To Stay on Track During the Holidays
1. Stay Moving!
Whatever you do, try to make it as active as possible.
This means something as simple as opting for stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away than you normally would and walking into the mall, or going for a brisk walk around the block of your parent’s neighbourhood when you’re over for festivities (hint: this is also a good excuse to get away from cousins you don’t like..).
2. Stick to Your Regular Routine
You know all those things we do that helps us feel good everyday? Whether it’s meditating in the morning, going to the gym, showering, or even something as simple as eating 2 eggs with oatmeal in the mornings, keep doing it through the holidays! Even if you’re away from home or have people over, do as much as you can to maintain your healthy habits.
The more you can keep up your daily routine the easier it’ll be to bounce back into everything after the holidays are over. Plus it may help you maintain a sense of control and normalcy in a flurry of screaming inlaws.
3. Choose your Foods Wisely
Don’t stay away from everything you LOVE, but be rational about what you TRULY want to indulge in.
Be mindful with your serving sizes and don’t mindlessly bite into things you could easily pass on. Save your calories for grandma’s christmas cake and leave those dense, plain Christmas cookies from WWII on the coffee table in the tins where they belong.
4. Eat treats LAST, not First
Always have a rule: ONLY eat the goodies AFTER you’ve nourished yourself with something wholesome and nutrient-rich. This will save you a lot of grief when it comes to blood sugar and insulin regulation. Spiking blood sugar with high-calorie foods are a sure-fire way to lead to the well-known sugar crashes and cravings later on in the day. s well as over-indulgence on the sugary things.
5. Bring Your Own Snacks
Whether it’s for your day of Christmas shopping or your weekend at the siblings house for Easter, bring healthy snacks to tide yourself over. Eat things you know you love instead of shoving chocolate eggs into your mouth with everyone else.
Remember, they aren’t working as hard as you to better their health. Don’t expect them to have healthy snack for you.
Healthy snacks could be low-fat, low-sugar protein bars, homemade granola bars or healthy cookies, hummus and vegetables, beef jerky or even vegetables and dip!
6. DON’T LET FAMILY PRESSURE WIN
For most of us, Christmas is not a time that we are absolutely excited about when we think about getting together with family. More often than not they’re the worst ones when it comes to heckling you for healthy choices and forcing you to eat/drink way more than you normally would.
I’m personally here to tell you IT IS OKAY TO SAY NO!
And some people might secretly admire you for making healthier choices….
7. When it comes to DRINKS, choose wisely
Holiday drinks like alcohol and eggnog stack on copious calories without any nutrient benefits.
And after one or two, those calories can add up fast.
Choose lower-calorie or light alcoholic drinks, diet sodas or juices, and don’t forget to always drink a glass of water in between every mixed drink you consume.
8. Forgive yourself and MOVE ON
So you overindulged. Don’t sweat it, unless you are literally doing so from all the sugar/meat (but seriously I hope no one has to suffer through that).
The best thing to do is forgive yourself, don’t get down on yourself, and return to regularly-scheduled programming tomorrow and the next day.
As long as it doesn’t become a habit, one day of too much Christmas cake or BBQ surf and turf wont kill your progress.
There are many time throughout the year that test our willpower (and ability to put up with relatives).
Having a coach is an affordable way to help you plan appropriately for your holidays, and stay away from shoving too many treats in your mouth without noticing.
The more we can prepare ourselves for the holidays, the less torturous it will be. and the less likely you will be to overindulge on the things you could’ve passed on. I know it’s cliche, but if you FAIL to PLAN, you’re PLANNING to FAIL.
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©2018 EVLV fit
EVLV fit is not a physician or registered dietician. This website, the information disclosed on it and all of its contents are not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical health problems. It should not be used in replace of advise from a medical physician. Always consult your doctor, physician, or qualified medical health professional for health matters.