The holidays are STRESSFUL. You have chaotic schedules, holiday shenanigans, and generally A LOT of food. Heavy food at that. If you’ve been working to be more mindful and/or get healthier it can be really difficult to navigate these events.
I wanted to create this guide to help you survive the holidays with as little stress as possible. So here are some tips that I have used with countless nutrition clients.
1. Ditch “on track” language – You are not a train or a wagon. You are a human being and you will NEVER be perfect. And that is perfectly okay. Having that “on track” mindset can sometimes be the cause of stress and frustration. It can help to think of things like this:
– Would you quit your job if you were 15 minutes late?
– Would you sell your car if you had a flat tire?
Chances are no. So why did you fail if you had a slice of pie?
That’s correct – you didn’t.
2. Have a plan – Even if the plan is to eat whatever the hell you want and get back to more structured eating the next day – that’s fine! But plan for it, mentally prepare, and execute it.
If you want a more structured plan it could look like:
– Focusing on loading up on veggies and protein first
– Planning for having a small serving of each dessert if theres multiple
– Having water instead of a soda or wine
– Eating slowly so as to reduce overeating
– Don’t stand near the food table
– Focus on the PEOPLE vs. the food
3. Get some movement in – It doesn’t have to be a swim in your own sweat type of workout – or a 5k turkey trot. It could be a walk with your family after dinner, or to start the day. It could be a quick 20 minute HIIT workout from Youtube. It could be dancing in your kitchen while you cook with your loved ones. It doesn’t have to be structured, and it doesn’t have to be grueling.
4. HYDRATE – Make sure you get that water in – either earlier in the day, or through-out. This can help you feel more full, as well as keep you hydrated. General recommendations for water intake are around half your body weight in ounces daily.
5. Stay Away From the Scale – Don’t weigh in for a few days. More than likely you’re going to have some foods that are on the saltier side – which can cause you to retain some extra water. This is not a bad thing – enjoy those foods. Just know that the scale will be up regardless. But it is TEMPORARY. It is near impossible to gain more than over a pound over night. It’s just water weight – it’ll come back down.
6. Know that it’s just ONE day – you will not lose all of your progress, you will not gain 10lbs of body fat, you did not ruin ANYTHING. It is ONE day, ONE meal. Breath, enjoy the holiday, and relax.
There you have it – 6 of my favorite tips to help you survive the holidays. My favorite one is #6. It’s just one day. One day out of 365 days. And yes – some people have multiple with things like friendsgiving, or going to your partners family as well. It still holds. Take things a day at a time.
That being said, I know the holidays can be a positive or negative for people. And that’s valid. Emotions can run high in either direction. At the end of the day – simply do your best.