Believe it or not that time of year is upon us again.
Halloween has come and gone, Thanksgiving will be here next week, and soon all of the December holidays will have arrived.
This means dinners, parties, and other festivities with family and friends. But even more than that it means food. Lots and lots of delicious food.
It tends to be a season of excess. A time when we give up on our best habits and become grateful for those flannel pajamas with expandable waistlines.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
With just a little thought, and a few of my most popular tips, I promise that you can make it though the holiday’s with a little more joy, and a lot less regret…
Stand by your plan:
You may be considering just giving up on your healthy habits completely during the holiday’s and then picking them up again later. Don’t. The best thing that you can do it keep up your good work. Sure, Thanksgiving dinner may be a bit more indulgent than a typical meal, but you can enjoy it and go back to your normal routine the next day. Being consistent is a lot easier than quitting everything now and hoping for the best later.
Don’t starve yourself beforehand:
You may think that starving yourself all day before a holiday gathering can “buy” you extra calories for later, but this just isn’t true. The best thing that you can do is eat a healthy breakfast and lunch just as you normally would. If you skip eating before a party, you are much more likely to overindulge and to make poor choices.
Moderation not deprivation:
This is one of my favorite phrases. A diet won’t ever succeed if you feel like you are depriving yourself, and how fun is a holiday party if you only allow yourself to eat celery sticks? Find a recipe for a healthy dip or side dish that you can contribute, and then allow yourself one pass at the buffet to try a little bit of the other offerings. When you are done, toss your plate to keep you from being tempted to go for seconds (or thirds).
Beware of your beverages:
Hot chocolate, hot toddy’s, and eggnog, oh my! Holiday drinks can be just as dangerous to your diet as the food. Avoid these extra rich, calorie-laden drinks and look for healthier options. Try making spritzers with soda water and a splash of juice. Or, trying making some homemade apple cider with no-sugar added apple juice mulled with cinnamon sticks, cloves, and orange slices.
Breathe and enjoy:
More than anything else, try to let the holidays be a time of joy. It can be too easy to get caught up in shopping, planning, and scheduling. Be sure to take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, find time for exercise, and don’t let stress derail you from you goals!