After Halloween passes, it’s easy to slip into an “all bets are off” mentality regarding healthy eating until January.
However, it is possible to strike a happy balance between keeping to a strict diet and a food free-for-all during this holiday season!
Here are 3 Tips to Help You Avoid Overindulging Over the Holidays:
Create a Holiday Health Vision.
Begin with the end in mind. Picture how you want to feel throughout the holiday season. Envision having a lot of energy to enjoy holiday parties (instead of being exhausted). Imagine that you are truly present for your children and family (instead of going through the motions). Visualize looking and feeling confident on New Year’s Eve!
Set positive but realistic goals for your weight and health over the holidays and build some special holiday sweets into your plan. This will leave the feeling of guilt behind along with 2018!
Make a Plan.
The desire to not indulge over the holidays is simply not enough and will most likely set you up to fail. You need a specific plan of action to make it a reality.
- List It.
Create a list of snacks and items to be kept in the fridge, freezer, and pantry to make a quick meal anytime. Set-up a standing weekly food delivery between now and January so you are always prepared. Spend a little extra on pre-cut veggies or ready to go ingredients (i.e., frozen quinoa, veggie burgers, grilled chicken strips) to avoid take-out.
- Plan Ahead.
Make and freeze some meals now like a batch of veggie chili or pot of soup. Find out what the food situation is before you go out to a party. Eat before you leave if necessary and do not show up anywhere starving unless you know there are some good options for you.
- Download A New Phone App.
Track your food and water (i.e., YAZIO, MyFitnessPal, LifeSUM) as a way to check-in with yourself throughout the holiday. Two cookies can quickly become twenty if you’re not mindful.
- Adjust Recipes.
Perhaps 4 sticks of butter or 2 cups of sugar aren’t necessary in your grandmother’s favorite recipe. Adjust your current recipe or research a few new tasty but slightly healthier recipes to try this season.
Find Your Tribe.
Finding your “tribe” of supporters throughout the holiday is a proven recipe for success. Teaming up with others in your circle of family and friends will provide you with a great deal of support and accountability. Consider talking to those close to you about your food and health goals and what they can do to help you. Perhaps you can brainstorm some new ideas for brunch or dinner that are a bit healthier and offer to bring something that fits your eating style that everyone will enjoy.
Don’t forget to lean on your virtual tribe. Join discussions on Facebook pages aligned with your eating style or health problem (keto, paleo, gluten-free, diabetes) for support. Add a new Pinterest board for inspiration on healthy holiday side dishes or bakery items!
Hoping to not overindulge around the holidays is not enough.
Having a holiday health vision for how you want to feel come January is key. Proper planning including stocking ingredients in your pantry, fridge, and freezer will help keep you on track. Making sure that you don’t arrive starving to a party and going with a few healthy options is also a recipe for success. This allows you to enjoy some of your favorite holiday foods in moderation. Focus on quality time with family and friends, generosity of spirit, and the traditions you hold dear, and then use the tips provided to make your holiday health vision a reality.
Do you have any tips to avoid overindulging around the holidays that did not get mentioned above? If so, please share them with us in the comments section below!