Hanukah is in full swing and Christmas is just 12 days away but I think we all need a little reminder to be kinder to ourselves this holiday season. I never try to lose weight over the holidays, it would be too tempting, but it is possible to maintain any progress your’ve made and today I want to share my favorite tips that help year after year.
#1. Eat breakfast and lunch everyday.
If you skip a meal, you are more likely to over indulge in your next one and if that happens to be a holiday party, good luck! Booze on an empty stomach, a table full of desserts after a couple of glasses of wine, you see where I’m going with this, right? If you have a holiday party at night or in the afternoon, try to eat a nutrient dense breakfast and lunch so you can enjoy the yummy food being served. Focus on nutrients and not calories.
#2. Make your workouts a date or an appointment you can’t skip.
It’s so easy to not workout the month of December. We all have so much “stuff” to do that the gym can feel like a dead-end. However, it is so much harder to get back in the habit of exercising than to keep doing it even if it’s not as frequent or as hard. You’ll be so glad you never stopped once January 1st hits! If you have a holiday party after work, grab a coworker and hit the gym at lunch time or sign up for a class in the morning.
I could write an entire blog post on why you should stay hydrated during the holidays but I’m just going to tell you that it will help keep you energized, minimize hangovers, keep away headaches, help you feel full and flush out toxins from shenanigans. Aim to get half your bodyweight in ounces. If you want to be like Tom Brady, drink a glass of water after each alcoholic beverage, too!
#4. Practice the here and now rule.
Ok, this one is tricky to stay with me. When you go to a party, be picky about what you eat. I’m not saying, only eat the veggies and humus but only eat indulgent foods that are special. So what makes a food special you ask?
These are my rules:
Can you go to the store and buy this treat tomorrow? If your grandmother made these cookies from scratch then go for it and have one or two or three if they are your favorite since you are here! If the desserts are a store-bought cookies, I’d pass. No offense to the gal who brought them, let everyone else eat them.
Will you be able to eat this treat next month? If your sister makes baked brie for every family occasion, maybe hold off during the holidays so you can spend your fun calories on treats you don’t often have the chance to try. This is the now part.
Does this make sense? If not, just try your best to select foods that feel special to you rather than something you can eat every day if you wanted.
#5. Be kind to yourself!
I can remember getting so upset about overdoing it over the holidays. I’d say no to dessert all year-long to then go wild over the holidays and just regret it. It was stupid. I’d feel bad about myself, I’d think, “Well, there’s no point in eating healthy now and just throw in the towel.” Now, I’m more kind to myself in that I can have a couple of cookies and not bat an eyelash. Somehow I could eat a lot more when I was younger and not feel sick. Now, if I eat too much sugar, I immediately know! It’s odd but I think it has something to do with not being stressed out about it. No one gains ten pounds in a weekend. You have to eat an extra 3500 calories to gain one pound. It takes a lot more than one night of holiday fun so forgive yourself if you lose control. The day is not a wash. You are worth it and you should enjoy the holidays!
Cassie Autumn Tran says
Great tips, Sarah! Staying hydrated and the here and now rule are amazing for maintaining a healthy regimen over the holidays. I find that walking more and being a bit more active are also very beneficial. But then again, the holidays are a time to enjoy yourself, so don’t be afraid to indulge in something you’ll never be able to find ever again!