Like many, I LOVE the holidays! It’s such a fun, joyous time of year and there are so many wonderful things to celebrate and enjoy. Over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about fully enjoying the holidays without fully expanding my waistline. It really IS possible.
1. Moderation is key. Moderation is my favorite word. It is how I live. It is how I eat and it treats me well. It is FREEDOM (my other favorite word). You don’t have to count anything. You don’t have to obsess over numbers. You can enjoy things that many would deem “bad” and not give it a second thought. It is a skill though and it takes practice and honing. If you are just starting out on the moderation bandwagon, you do have to educate yourself, but that is a blog post for a different day. Since most days of the year I eat healthy and exercise, the holidays don’t freak me out. I can eat pie at Thanksgiving, fudge at Christmas, etc. because I know that after those few days of loosening the reigns on my diet, I’m going right back to my normal routine of healthy eating and exercise. No cause for panic. The keys are to not go on an all-out binge (again, this is moderation) and to get right back on track (not three or four weeks later. Hello, 8 new lbs. for the New Year!).
2. Keep Exercising. It may be next to impossible to keep your usual workout regimen through the holidays, but DO SOMETHING. You may have to change things up a little if you can’t go to your usual classes or do your regular routine, but that’s okay. If you can’t get to the gym, walk or run in your neighborhood, weather permitting. If all you have is a small amount of time, do a series of push ups, squats, triceps dips, cardio intervals like jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers, etc. Whatever you can get in, big or small, just do it and stay active! You will be so glad you did come January.
3. Decide ahead of time what days you’ll indulge. Instead of just saying, “It’s the holidays, so I’m gonna EAT,” pick your poison. For me, I designate a few days at Thanksgiving and a few at Christmas as the days I ease up, enjoy and eat things I normally wouldn’t. It’s much easier to get back on track if you plan ahead and decide when you’ll indulge a little more.
4. Drink plenty of water. Yes, this is a basic tip you probably hear all the time, but it does help. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
5. Don’t starve yourself before a big event or party. I’m never a fan of starving myself all day so I can eat up at a party. Before a party or event where I know there will be lots of goodies, I eat like normal. I have a snack before I go so I don’t arrive ravenous and ready to eat the upholstery off the furniture. This way, I’m much more likely to enjoy things in moderation instead of plowing through the dessert table like the Tasmanian Devil.
The holidays are truly the most wonderful time of the year. Celebrate, enjoy and stay focused on the things that really matter. With a little thought and planning, you can breeze into the New Year without regret.