The holidays are coming — you know what that means. Seemingly endless amounts of delicious foods and treats. If the amount of food available around the holidays makes you super anxious, this blog post is for you! I’ve put together my favorite tips for handling the holiday madness when you have health and wellness goals.
Don’t “save” your calories. When you wake up on Thanksgiving morning: EAT BREAKFAST, have your coffee, have a glass of water… do what you would normally do. The idea that you can “save” calories during the day so that you can enjoy more calories later on is total nonsense. In fact, when you undereat during the day, you are way more likely to mindlessly overeat later (even several hours later).
Keep your hydration a priority. Holidays are often super hectic, so it’s easy to neglect your water intake. Make sure you’re prioritizing your hydration throughout the day, especially since you may be indulging in more alcohol, sweets, and sodium than you usually do! Beat some of that holiday bloat with some good old hydration :).
Vegetables aren’t a forbidden food. Do you enjoy eating vegetables? Okay…… so eat them. Vegetables are not a forbidden food at holiday parties! Including veggies on your holiday plate (just like you would during any other meal) is going to keep you full and satisfied longer because veggies have FIBER, which is something that many holiday dishes tend to lack. Including fiber will keep you full and satisfied so that you can enjoy the day with your family without feeling uncomfortable. Are you going somewhere that you KNOW isn’t going to have many veggie offerings? Offer to bring a dish! PS. I’m not talking about serving a boring plate of steamed broccoli— there are tons of amazing seasonal veggie recipes that can be crowd pleasers! My Harvest Kale & Apple Pomegranate Salad is perfect 😉
ENJOY the foods that you’re looking forward to. Sit down with your family, put your phone away and enjoy the special once a year dishes that you love.
Check in with yourself. Are you starting to feel uncomfortable? Are you ignoring your fullness cues?
Remember, the holiday season lasts for months, but the actual holidays are only a few days (and only a few meals)! Holidays get a bad reputation for weight gain, but it is NOT because people are gaining weight from enjoying a few holiday meals. There’s a big difference between eating Thanksgiving and dessert versus stretching leftovers into a 2 week holiday binge. This type of situation is particularly common if you’re the person hosting. I am personally a big advocate for getting that stuff out of your house so that you don’t feel like you need to eat a full Thanksgiving plate with dessert until your leftovers are gone. Send your guests home with leftovers! You don’t need to give them all away, but having 7 different desserts available in your kitchen, for example, may be a little much. When you do have leftovers, be mindful.
Finally— the world is not going to end because you just had a full plate of food and your Grandmother’s famous pie that you look forward to every single year. Holidays don’t need to be “all or nothing”. Enjoy your meal, enjoy your dessert, and move on! These special holidays and family gatherings come once a year, enjoy them. Holiday parties and holiday food can be a huge source of anxiety for many, especially those who are in the middle of making healthy changes in their life. With a little bit of mindfullness, you can enjoy your holiday meals while staying on track with your wellness goals.
Happy Holidays 🙂