For many of us, the holiday season is anything but calm.
Gifts to buy, crowds to fight, family to visit, parties to attend, deadlines to meet, resolutions to contemplate and healthy diets to maintain can all leave us feeling slightly frazzled and overwhelmed.
But, if you’re struggling to lose weight it can be a particularly challenging time of year.
That’s why if I could give you just 3 pieces of advice to take with you over the holidays it would be these 3 things.
Tip #1 – Load Up on High-Vibe Food (every chance you get)
Let’s face it. You’re probably going to be faced with some not-so-ideal food choices here and there, but that doesn’t mean you have to beat yourself up or start guilt-tripping if you choose to indulge.
Set the intention to get the goods in where you can. And by goods I mean high-vibe, plant-based foods like vegetables and fruit!
If you know you’re headed to a holiday party or dinner in the evening try to be impeccable with the rest of your day so when you do decide to dig your fork into the dessert later, you can do so without second thought.
This might look like:
:: Starting your day with a fresh vegetable juice or smoothie.
:: Making the focal point of your lunch a huge salad with lots of fresh veggies and some high-quality protein.
:: Kindly declining the lunch invite from your co-workers to check out the new pizza joint that just opened up down the street and sticking with the lunch you packed from home instead.
:: Swapping your post-lunch latte for a peppermint tea.
:: Passing on the afternoon cookie platter and opting for a few tangerines instead (you know you’ll be indulging later!)
At the party/dinner:
:: Passing on the fried hors d’oeuvres in favour of the vegetable crudités and olives.
:: Filling your plate with plenty of salad and veggie-centric dishes at the buffet table and then not sweating the few indulgences that you REALLY want.
:: Choosing the highest quality food you can get given the circumstance.
:: Stopping after two glasses of wine and opting for some sparkling water with lemon…even though there’s an open bar. (p.s. No Boozy Suzies at the holiday office party!)
Tip #2 – Move it! (no gym required)
It’s a bit ironic that the time of year when we’re most indulgent is also the time when our exercise priorities often go out the window – the time when we could use them most!
But, just because you’re visiting family out-of-town and you can’t make it to the gym or your regular yoga class, doesn’t mean you have to sit around sedentary on the couch either.
Make it your intention to get in some form of activity each and every day. Commit to daily morning walks with a family member or round-up the troops for a post-dinner walk and marvel at all the pretty and festive lights in the neighborhood.
Just commit to moving your body. Each day. Simple.
Play road hockey.
Help your nephews build a snow-fort.
Think back to the days when you were a kid and you would play outside for hours.
Too cold for you now?
Would your 7-year old self ever have complained about being too cold to go play outside in the snow? No way!
Just bundle up…and don’t worry. You’ll be back at the office soon enough, snug at your desk, gazing out the window and only wishing you could be out there playing:)
Now’s your chance!
Tip # 3 – Don’t Throw in the Towel (please, just don’t)
F*** it! It’s the holidays. I’ll start fresh Jan 1st.
1 shortbread cookie turns into 5, a few chocolates turn into 10, and the next thing you know you’re elbow-deep into a bag of Doritos, when normally you wouldn’t touch anything of the sort with a 10-foot pole!
It makes me cringe just thinking about it because I used to be the absolute worst when it came to “all or nothing” attitudes around diet and food.
Don’t turn a few holiday indulgences into a license to eat everything in front of you. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to eat it. If you really desire something that’s one thing, but if you’re just eating it because you figure you already “messed up” then that’s just self-destruction to the core. Kick that attitude to the curb – now!
When Jan 1st rolls around your body will need to work that much harder to undo the damage done, and your weight-loss efforts will be only be stifled. Not to mention the pressure you’ll feel when it comes to sticking with your new “diet plan”, and the feelings of guilt that will follow when you mess it up a few weeks later. Hey, nobody’s perfect!
Here’s the thing though, if you do go a bit overboard one day or even a few; don’t waste even a minute berating yourself for it. Just commit to getting back on track the next day (or ideally at the next meal) by reverting back to tip #1. Add in a daily dose of tip #2 and you’ll be well on your way to a cool, calm and collected start of the year (without the added pounds!).
For more useful tips for the holidays check out this blog I wrote last year.
In the comments below, let me know your favorite tips and strategies for staying on track over the holidays. Would love to hear from you!