Just when you got into the groove of healthy eating, here come the holidays. You’ve got the sugary treats of Halloween, the savory dishes of Thanksgiving, holiday parties and gatherings, and your favorite treats that bring happy memories. How in the world do you stay on track and not feel deprived, resentful, or feeling like you’re missing out on the holiday spirit? Afterall, food is keystone to any festive celebration.
Well fear not! You CAN stay on track with your health goals AND enjoy the holiday spirit, too.
Sarah, a 48 year old mom of three and also caretaker for her dad, had just started working with me as Thanksgiving was around the corner. We discussed that there will be dietary changes that need to take place and in order to see the quickest results, she would need to be 100%. That being said, we also discussed that holidays can be a special time and that she can allow herself to splurge on the designated days that meant the most to her. Because she was in pain and dedicated to changing her life and health, she committed whole heartedly to the plan. Sarah not only LOST 5 lbs during the holiday season but she enjoyed herself and stepped into the new year with confidence and feeling amazing.
Her story is not unique. While it can be difficult sometimes, you absolutely can live a healthy lifestyle with some cheat days here and there. The key is to not make these “cheat” days a lifestyle that doesn’t support health and wellbeing.
To keep you focused and on track with your goals, here are some top tips not only Sarah did, but many others who have similar stories did as well to say laser focused on their goals.
1. Prioritize Planning:
One of the key strategies for staying on track with your nutritional goals is to plan ahead. Before heading to holiday gatherings or parties, take a moment to consider your meal choices. If you know that the event may lack healthy options, consider eating a balanced meal at home before you go. This can help curb your app appetite and reduce the temptation to overindulge. You might also consider bringing a healthy dish that aligns with your clean eating habits and share that with others.
2. Practice Portion Control:
During the holidays, it's all too easy to pile your plate high with decadent dishes. However, practicing portion control is a simple yet effective way to manage your calorie intake. Opt for smaller portions of your favorite treats, and savor each bite. This approach allows you to enjoy the flavors of the season without overloading on calories.
3. Stay Hydrated:
Amid the holiday chaos, it's easy to forget about proper hydration and over indulge on liquids that help calm stress. Drinking water throughout the day can help you stay satiated and reduce the temptation to snack on unhealthy options. But did you also know that non-caffeinated herbal tea counts towards your hydration goals, too?! That’s right AND chamomile tea is wonderful calming any anxiety or stress from the holidays. Carry a water bottle with you to stay on top of your hydration goals and throw a calming teabag into the water if you need.
4. Enjoy Balance and Moderation:
It's important to remember that the holidays are a time to enjoy yourself. You don't have to deprive yourself of your favorite holiday treats. Instead, aim for balance and moderation. Allow yourself to indulge in small quantities, while also making healthy choices to support your weight loss goals.
5. Focus on Real Conversations and Fellowship:
Holiday gatherings are about more than just food. Engage in meaningful conversations and connections with loved ones. When you're occupied with genuine interactions, you're less likely to focus on overeating.
Staying on track with your hormone balance and weight loss journey during the holidays may be challenging, but it's entirely feasible. By prioritizing planning, practicing portion control, and embracing mindful eating, you can enjoy the festivities while supporting your wellness goals. Remember, it's all about finding a balance that works for you, and with these tips, you can savor the holiday season without sacrificing your health.