Allright, let’s talk food!!! The holidays can be a stressful time, especially if you have a health goal around these parties. There’s a lot going on, everyone seems to want to get together, it’s a LOT of food… and it’s mostly rich, indulgent food.
People tend to either stress out or throw in the towel. I would love if you could do neither. I want to give you some tips to help you navigate this without guilt, stress or shame.
1. One day does not undo 365 days
This is essential to understand. One day is just one day. If you overeat one day, if you splurge, that is just one day. People love to blame weight gain on the holidays, but the fact is that the holidays are not what will derail your gains, it’s the excess for months around the holiday that derails you.
Think of Halloween. For some reason candy starts being sold in September! Some people start eating candy in September “for Halloween”, when in reality it is ONE day in October. The same goes for Christmas. It’s not the one day of indulging that derails your goals, it’s splurging all through “Christmas season”.
My best advice is to practice self-control over your time. Resist the impulse to buy the candy in September. Resist the impulse to bake a different batch of cookies every other day leading to Christmas. Resist the impulse to make extra of the abundant food so you can keep eating all the indulgence through January.
One day. Enjoy it. Don’t eat like an idiot but don’t shame yourself into feeling guilty. Then get back on to your routine.
2. Keep your hands busy with something to sip on
If you’re at a party where grazing on delectable food is the way the party rolls (the best kind of party in my opinion!), one strategy to help you indulge less is to have a beverage (preferably one that isn’t full of calories and sugar) and sip throughout the party. Water, tea, coffee… it doesn’t really matter what, but keeping your hands full and sipping throughout the party may have you nibbling less.
3. Plate it and leave
This isn’t just a holiday thing, but especially around indulgent food, your best bet is to make a plate and stop at that. Don’t go back for seconds, thirds or nibbles. Take a look at the selection, be it a buffet, a dinner, snack party, curate your plate with what you want, step away from the food (unless you’re at the table) and enjoy it. Take your time. Indulge, enjoy and tell yourself in advance that that is it.
Do you HAVE to do these things? No. Like you hear me say over and over, you don’t have to anything. These are tips to help you if you are trying to navigate the holidays enjoying all the food, but without over-indulging.
As always, you are responsible for you. Own your choices and understand that you have the power and the right to choose what is best for YOUR goals, in YOUR life.
Going into the holiday business, always remind yourself that consistency is what makes the most difference in your health. If you consistently practice good habits around food and exercise, one day of indulgence will not undo your consistency or break your habits.
What do you apply to help you stay on track with your goals?
Keeping it simple,