Hey friends! I hope you had a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving and are all aboard the holiday train as we’ve eased into December.
I hesitated making a post like this before Thanksgiving, because Thanksgiving is just 1 day. And I really don’t think the meaning of getting together with friends and family to enjoy a meal should be overshadowed by everything you “should” do to have a “healthy” Thanksgiving. But now that we are officially into the holiday season, I wanted to share this post about navigating health and wellness around the holidays.
Usually around the holidays, we fall into the unfortunate habit of putting our health on the back burner because we know that New Year’s is around the corner, and that New Year’s resolution to lose weight will be waiting for us after the holiday parties and festivities are over.
Instead of falling into this scenario, I would encourage you to find balance this holiday season. You can enjoy the holidays, indulge in sweet treats and still live healthfully, and then you will not feel the need to revamp your entire nutrition and exercise habits on January 1. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Tip #1- Ask yourself why you are allowed to indulge in certain items over the holidays and not all the time
One of the biggest mistakes that we can make with our diet is creating food rules around deprivation. If you are never allowed to have certain things then those things will taste even better and seem more irresistible when you are “allowed” to have them (ie around the holidays). This then causes binge eating, which usually results in feelings of guilt. Food rules also suck in general because does anyone ever stick to them? No. And then the cycle of depriving, binging and starting over repeats itself.
Ladies, it doesn’t have to be this way. Enjoy a sweet treat from time to time. Listen to your body. Stop when you’re full. On some days this may mean enjoying an entire piece of pie but on others it might mean just having a taste, savoring it, and realizing that you feel satisfied and having
Tip #2- Move Your Body
Our bodies were meant to be moved and that is how we stay healthy and feeling well. A popular term for physical activity is now “body movement”, because we all just cringe at the word e-x-e-r-c-i-s-e. Somewhere along the lines, the idea of being active morphed into need to be in the gym for long periods of time in order to be healthy. But you don’t have to tear it up at the gym to get exercise this holiday season- and likely don’t have time for that anyway.
Just move your body and get your heart rate up! It doesn’t have to be complicated. Park further away, walk places, purposely take the stairs, etc. Find exercise and activity that is fun for you. Also, please embrace the way you feel afterwards. You will likely feel happier, have more energy and sleep better- all reasons why we should exercise anyway!
My favorite form of activity when it’s cold outside is walking to the grocery store and to restaurants. I’m lucky that the weather in Charlotte is mild enough to this, even in December and January! I once had a client become way healthier (and lost a ton of weight) and her movement of choice was dancing in the kitchen every night as she did the dishes. Do what works for you.
Tip #3- Embrace special moments, be mindful in others
I like to tell clients that the foundation of their diets should be foods that nourish your body- fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and of course staying hydrated, and they should just be mindful of this balance. This advice is applicable at all times but is extra important around the holidays. Being mindful meals that you should enjoy moments (and food!) while still listening to your body. Maybe one cocktail sounds fun but several will make you feel like shit the next day. Maybe you have to taste that gingerbread cookie but having a handful will make you feel stuffed and extra tired.
Speaking of embracing special moments…. what is your favorite holiday tradition involving sweet treats? My family used to make gingerbread cookies together every year. I loved rolling out the dough and then decorating them after they finished baking!