The holidays can be a fun but stressful time for everyone. Not only do you have to worry about what to get that special someone but you also have to plan trips, pack your bags and worry if you will hit any workouts! All this worrying and stress can lead to poor sleep, bad eating habits and *GASP* weight gain during this time of year. While it’s normally nothing that cannot be undone what would happen if we didn’t need to think about “undoing” what we did during the holidays? Let’s think about it…
Why do we stop worrying about our health this time of year? Well, we are stressed, coworkers bring cookies daily to work, we are off our normal schedule and our diets start after New Years so all bets are off. We find every excuse under the sun during this time of year and it needs to stop. You can continue to eat healthy, move daily, sleep soundly AND enjoy some sweets and treats. You don’t believe me yet so let’s find out how to have your cake and eat it too this holiday season.
1. Plan Ahead: you plan your life every other time of year so why is this time any different? You probably already know if and when you are traveling and where and when every holiday party is so PLAN! What does this mean? Plan what you will eat, when you will move or exercise and what your sleep will look like. Make sure to pack a water bottle to ensure you are drinking more water than booze and even bring your own pillow if it will help you sleep better. Not sure if your Aunt’s party will have any food that will make you feel good? Call her up and ask her if you can bring a dish to share!
2. Moderate the sweets & treats. I greatly dislike the phrase “everything in moderation” because let’s be honest, it hasn’t worked well for us now has it? However, this time of year it’s good to moderate ourselves as best as possible. Go ahead and enjoy some sweets unless you have health conditions that prevent you from doing so. Plan when your treats are (See #1) and set limits for yourself. Perhaps you LOVE your mom’s cheesecake, great, plan ahead and know you will be getting to eat that. Now, what about the office treats? Do you need a brownie or cookie every hour on the hour? Set up some guidelines for yourself in certain environments. At work you forgo the sweets but at holiday parties you allow yourself a treat or 2. See, not so bad!
3. Buddy Up! Find friends and family members who also want to stay healthy this time of year. Ask them to hold you accountable and do the same for them. You don’t need to be a drill sergeant but knowing others will be moderating their sweet intake at grandma’s house this year may just help you stay in control. Challenge each other to move daily, maybe you have a FitBit and can monitor! Check in on each other and encourage each other to move, sleep and eat real food!
4. Relax! Seriously, the holidays come and go every year so if this isn’t your year, if you didn’t get everything done, IT’S OKAY! Take some deep breaths, go for a walk or two, get some sleep and just RELAX, I’m allowing it!
Recipe for Holiday Success:
That’s it! Enjoy the holidays and remember to focus on the family, friends and experiences not just the food.