|Posted on November 15, 2017 at 5:40 AM|
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
Oh, NO! The holiday season snuck up so fast. You’ve made great progress on your journey to total health, but you’re hard-earned results could be derailed. Thanksgiving is only a few days away, you know. Really, it’s not just Thanksgiving that concerns you, but the whole goodies and treats that blur Thanksgiving with Christmas and New Years, too—Thanksmasyear’s Season. Is that on the calendar? It should be because it covers more than one whole month with mashed potatoes and gravy, pumpkin pie, turkey, sweet potatoes, and you can’t forget those Christmas cookies at the cookie exchange. STOP! IT’S TOO MUCH!
Really, it's about the meaning of each holy day. They days are simply rememberances. Remembering to thank God for all the blessings He has given you. Remembering the birth of our Savior. Remembering to look forward to what God has for us in the New Year. If we keep our heads clear about the meaning of each holiday, the whole food thing looks pretty ridiculous. Feasting on the holiday isn't unreasonable. Just keep perspective. I have to admit, though, we are challenged with the feast set before our very eyes.
No worries, though. Char’s got you covered! This Holiday Survival Guide is full of strategies and tips to help you sail through the holidays without gaining an ounce. Iit all depends on how well you put this it into practice, your health conditions, etc. Got it? Good. You can count on you. So, here we go:
Stoke the Fire. One of the best things you can do for yourself is keep your workout schedule regular. Avoid letting your exercise get derailed. You may want to mix up intervals, with Fartlek training, and sprinkle in some longer moderate burn workouts. Stoke the fire so you burn more calories during the friends and family gatherings.
Curb your Eats. Keep your food intake to unprocessed foods like lean poultry and fish (no sauces), steamed or fresh veggies (no butter, sauces, or dips), lower glycemic fruits, and limit your whole grain carbs. Use healthy oils in your cooking like olive oil because your body needs some oils for several physical functions. No cheats. No treats. Do this for two to three days before the big event. Essentially, you could cut 100-250 calories from your diet. Just remember to not go below 1,200 calories and no fasting because it slows your metabolism down. Obviously, follow your doctor’s recommendations first. The unfortunate fact is that Americans typically consume two to three times their normal daily intake on Thanksgiving and Christmas. You don’t have to be one of them.
Psych Yourself Up! Be your own cheerleader by telling yourself you can do this—because you can. Give yourself positive, truthful messages and what you can do to help yourself on your journey to total health. Put them on the fridge, bathroom mirror, scale, steering wheel of your car, wherever you will see them regularly.
1. Host the holiday bash! This way, you can monitor what foods are available.
2. Share the healthy eats. If you can’t get them to come to you, bring it to them! Do be considerate, though. Some hosts might not appreciate guests bringing food dishes to share. The shopping list is a helpful tool.
3. Make wise choices. Consider which parties to attend and which ones you can skip. Free yourself up from feeling obligated to go to every holiday event. Only attend the ones most important to you.
4. Pre-plan your treats. If you already know what Mom’s favorite dishes are and which pies Grandma will bake, you can strategically pick your cheats without hurting anyone’s feelings.
5. Fill up first. Drink water and eat fresh cut veggies and fruit at home before you go to your holiday gathering. You will feel full sooner, so you can honestly say you are stuffed and feel good about it.
6. Chew away the temptations. Chew sugar-free mint gum or savor a sugar-free mint. When you prep food, mill around with people, and pass by the goodies, the mint will keep your mouth happy. It also makes those goodies taste a bit funny. Iif you still have the mint taste in your mouth, you will be less likely to lick the spoon off as you cook, too.
7. Stay tight. Wear your smaller clothes—that still fit. Nothing will encourage you more to put the fork down as feeling smooshed in your clothes. Besides, it reminds you that you still want to be able to fit in them. Right?
8. Be size-wise. If you've been weighing and measuring your food at home, then you already have an idea how much you put on your plate. Guestimate a serving size of what you choose to eat. Or you could also just get one small spoonful of everything you like, but only go to the serving table once.
9. Load 'er up! Load up on fresh or steamed veggies and fresh fruit, if it is available. The fiber will fill you up and you can honestly say you are stuffed when someone offers you foods on your “NO!” list.
10. Mingle more than eat. This will give those brain signals a chance to convince your stomach when you’ve had enough. You are less likely to eat too much. Oh, yes, eat and chat AWAY from the food table!
Every holiday get-together ends with clean-up. Temptations about after everyone leaves. This pesky problem is a cinch to keep under control, too.
1. Stay AWAY from the food. Offer to clean up tables and other spaces instead of putting food away in the kitchen. If you must clean up in the kitchen, test out the mint gum or mints idea.
2. Give it away. Instead of keeping leftovers, take plates of food to people who are shut in or aren’t able to enjoy holiday gatherings with family members (you could invite them to your own holiday bash, though). It’s a win-win!
3. Stash it away. If you have leftovers, pack them away in the freezer as single meal portions to save time during your work week. It’s hard to nibble on frozen food and you have ready made meals.
The holiday is one day so leave it to just one day. Enjoy it wisely. Eat light for a couple of days afterward and torch those calories in the gym. Although results will vary from person to person, most people are able to stay on course for to their dream destinations. Have a blessed Thanksmas Year’s Season!
Pssst! These tips and more are in our Healthy Lifestyles program. In case you are concerned about AFTER the holidays are over, Healthy Lifestyles groups will begin in January. Watch for news and savings. Want special offers and savings? Become an Insider by signing up!
Hey, do you have any holiday tips to share? Post it in the comments below.