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Make this holiday season the healthiest and happiest, yet!
Avoid Holiday Weight Gain With My Healthy Holiday Survival Guide
The holidays bring a mix of emotions to most of us. I admit that I have a love hate relationship with the holidays. The togetherness with family and friends, the special gatherings, the decorations, the holiday music, traditions, and special activities, I love. It’s a season of giving when we take the time to reflect and appreciate our loved ones, and all of our numerous blessings. However, the holidays now come with a huge dose of commercialism and dietary over-indulgences. That’s why you need a healthy holiday survival guide to avoid holiday weight gain.
With all of those cheerful holiday parties you’re surrounded by temptations everywhere you turn. The generosity of others usually means your home is inundated with sweet treats like cookies, chocolates, cakes, and more. When you have a sweet tooth like me, it’s nearly impossible to resist. You tell yourself, one cookie won’t hurt, then one cookie turns into one more, and sooner or later you think to yourself, “Who am I kidding? I might as well just enjoy myself. It’s the holidays after all.” Then all those healthy intentions you had for the month of December go out the window.
When January comes you’re feeling the effects of your choices, and you’re probably wishing you hadn’t allowed yourself all those holiday cookies and cocktails because now your healthy goals just got a whole lot more challenging to achieve.
You can do this, mama!
Why don’t we skip all that this year? No regret, and no extra pounds to lose. Why don’t we embrace all that we love about the holidays and say good-bye to the excuses, the extra cookies, the additional cup of hot cocoa, the box of chocolates, and whatever it is that pulls you into a month long spiral.
I know it’s not easy. You want to have fun. I can’t blame you. Who says you can’t still have the best holiday season ever?!? You can, when you follow my 5 Step Healthy Holiday Plan!
The 5 Step Healthy Holiday Survival Guide to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain!
Step 1: Plan Ahead
Before heading out to your holiday party, I recommend filling up on fruits, vegetables, and protein before you go to the party. You’ll already be full and less likely to overindulge. Don’t starve yourself all day with the idea that you’re saving your calories for the party. You’ll end up overdoing it on empty calories. Fill in up on healthy choices first. I recommend the day of a holiday gathering to wake up and eat a filling and healthy breakfast, for example organic oatmeal with berries. In the afternoon have a hearty vegetable soup with a spinach salad, eat a fiber rich apple for a snack. In the evening before you go to the party have a protein shake. You’ll be all set to enjoy a few treats without going overboard.
Step 2: Amp up your workout!
It might be getting cold outside, and seem like a good time to curl up the fire, but don’t let the coziness of the holidays keep you from moving. In fact, amp up your workout. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week, plus 2 days of muscle strengthening exercises. Are you getting the recommended activity minutes into your day? You’ll feel better, and reap the benefits of more energy to get you through the hectic holiday season.
Step 3: Don’t Deny Yourself, But Be Selective
There’s nothing worse than telling yourself you can’t have any of your favorite holiday indulgence. For me, that’s chocolate covered orange peels from my favorite local chocolate shop.
Telling yourself you can’t have something increases your desire. You can’t get it off your mind, and eventually you give in only to feel upset with yourself for lapsing on your promise. Instead of going into the season telling yourself you’re on a restrictive diet and can’t enjoy any of the holiday treats, be selective.
What do you look forward to the most? Baking cookies and sharing them with family and friends? Do you enjoy a traditional dish your family makes around the holidays? How about a special cocktail or a glass of wine? If there something you look forward to enjoying during the holidays, allow yourself to partake BUT, be selective, and try not to over do it.
Step 4: Focus on the company, not the food.
The holidays are all about the people you share them with. It’s really not about the food at all. We gather together at parties so that we can spend time with the people we care the most about. When you go to a party think about the people you’re looking forward to seeing. Set an intention around conversation, and engagement with those you love. For example, when headed to a family gathering, you may set the intention to sit down and talk to your aunt who you haven’t seen for several months, or reconnect with a cousin. When your intentions at a holiday celebration have to do with the people, you will hardly think about the food.
Step 5: Learn the art of saying, no thank you.
It’s okay to say, no thank you. We often think we’re insulting the host if we decline something they are serving at a dinner party. Don’t feel obligated to eat something because it’s being served to you. You can politely decline, and chances are the host will not be offended. My family and friends are used to my polite declines, and they still love me, chances are your friends and family will feel the same.
Set your intentions, get organized, and follow through!
When you follow these steps you’ll enter the new year feeling better than ever!
The holidays can be a challenging time in the year to keep to your health goals, but if you set an intention to stay the course, and not allow the holidays to become an excuse, you will discover you can have just as much fun without the guilt or extra pounds.
Looking for a a healthy holiday cookie recipe? Check-out my Vegan Gluten Free Cranberry Pistachio Cookies.