As we all roll into the holiday season, there is no better time to reevaluate your health and find ways to stay healthy and consistent during the holidays.
This time of year, most people will want to wait until the New Year to start focusing on getting healthy and losing weight. But it is amazing how much progress you can make during this time when you keep in mind that the holidays will ALWAYS happen so learning to stay healthy during the holidays will be beneficial for the rest of your life!
I completely understand wanting to be fully present during the holiday season and not feeling like you need to think about your food choices, but this is the perfect time to really step into your power.
How many times have you thought that since the new year is around the corner, you might as well hold off on your goals until January?
You think that you might as well eat all the “fun foods” now because you SWEAR you won’t eat them again next year and that this time it will be different?
If this sounds like you, trust me I’ve been there too and this back-and-forth diet cycling is not a fun place to live in.
If you’re ready to level up and get out of the cycle where you go from one extreme of being strict and rigid to the other extreme where you “revenge eat”, let’s dive in.
Easy Strategies to Staying Healthy During the Holidays
1. Working on your mindset during the holidays
Feeling like you have to completely restrict the foods you binge on simply because that food is there takes some habit and behavior changes.
It’s not that you lack willpower. It’s because, for YEARS, you’ve seen these foods as either “good” or “bad.”
I completely agree that some foods are not good for you and we really should not be eating them on a consistent basis, but cultivating this mindset where you believe: If I eat ONE, I must eat ALL of them because “I messed up” is the first thing you may need to unpack.
Here is a tip that may feel counterintuitive but one that tremendously helps you eat healthy and allow you to fit those foods into your healthy lifestyle:
You need to give yourself permission to eat whatever the heck you want because YOU are in control. And because you are in control, you get to decide what you want to eat.
Try this exercise:
Next time you have something you consider “bad,” instead of beating yourself up over it, take the time to REALLY taste it. Ask yourself if you really love the taste or if you are eating it because of EMOTIONS?
Is the decision you are making to eat this food coming from something physical or is it more emotional?
This helps you do 2 things:
- Distinguish if you actually love the food or not
- Uncover a subconscious belief about yourself that you now get to work on! Fun, right?
2. Maintain a good exercise routine
This is important when trying to stay healthy during the holiday season because when everything around you feels out of routine, maintaining a part of your routine that helps you FEEL good is going to help you stay consistent.
Exercising or getting any sort of movement in (walking around the neighborhood counts!) is going to help you feel good. Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol while stimulating the production of happy hormones like dopamine.
I really believe that when you are in a healthy place in your mind, you do good things for your body.
When you feel good physically by maintaining an exercise routine, or even starting one during this time where stress levels may increase, you are more likely to make choices that align with your long term goals.
So stick with it and see how much better you feel that you decided to maintain a part of your routine that helps keep you grounded and in alignment with yourself and body.
3. Eat your fiber, protein and healthy fats to stay healthy during the holidays
I know, I know. But truly, this is going to help you feel SO good. A new study shows that eating this way helps to balance hormones to help make weight loss more effective. It is not groundbreaking news that you need to eat your fruits and vegetables, but eating the right combination of nutrients helps you feel good and curb hunger.
This allows you to shift your focus to eating BETTER quality foods. When you do this, you can eat MORE food and feel satisfied which helps you stay consistent. Who wants to feel hungry all the time? Not me!
Tip: Make a grocery list every week of foods that fall into these categories (protein, healthy fats, and fiber) and aim to have this combination for most of your meals.
This helps you visually see how you can combine meals that are balanced and filling.
The good news is eating in a balanced way can be easy even in the holiday season. This time of year, many vegetables are served (green beans / green bean casserole) protein: turkey or ham and the fat is usually within the meal that is prepped.
If you need some ideas, this blog post can help!
This way of balancing your meals helps you curb cravings and it helps you stay full and energized. Clients have told me that by eating this way, they don’t even FEEL the need to take a walk to their kitchen “looking for something satisfying.”
4. Set boundaries with family
Do not be afraid to set boundaries with family and friends to help you maintain a positive attitude and protect your mental energy.
Your health is not just your physical health. Your mental health matters too especially when certain family members tend to push boundaries.
During this time many family members like to discuss sensitive topics like: flu vaccinations, give unsolicited medical advice, and provide tips to stay healthy and lose weight. If certain topics trigger you, work on walking away and not feeling the need to respond!
If you are looking for customized support and guidance from me, check out my services here!
Bottom line: Decide to show up for yourself and take bold action!
You still have time to accomplish or make tremendous progress. Stay healthy during the holidays and show up for yourself.